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Mar 29, 2014 - 04:50 PM
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2014 Malaysian GP: Formula One F1 Starting Grid Line-up & Race Preview
Posted by: ASkyler on Mar 29, 2014 - 04:50 PM
Formula 1 News
2014 Malaysian GP: Formula One F1 Starting Grid Line-up & Race Preview


By Mike Sulka

Round two of the 2014 Formula One World Championship will be held at the 5.543km 15-turn Sepang International Circuit - the Malaysian Grand Prix (GP). The drivers will have 56 laps to determine this year's winner, though five years ago the race was red flagged due to extreme weather on lap 33 with half-way points awarded to the top eight drivers - a scenario which could easily happen again.

Sepang is located 85 kilometres from Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, the track was built over 18 months with the first Malaysian Grand Prix being held in 1999. German architect Hermann Tilke designed the track - this was his first F1 design - and the debut event was won by Eddie Irvine in a Ferrari.

Overall, Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel have the most wins at Sepang with three each while Kimi Raikkonen has two victories. Jenson Button is the only other active driver with a victory at Malaysia. Ferrari has the most wins by any constructor with six in 15 tries, Red Bull have 3 wins, while Renault/Lotus, and McLaren each have two wins. Red Bull and Vettel are the defending race winners after starting from Pole.

The 2013 race was made exciting with the battle between the Red Bull teammates - Vettel and Mark Webber - as Vettel overtook Webber while he was leading late in the race. Webber was furious afterward asking Vettel why he had ignored the team order 'Multi-21' which meant Vettel was supposed to hold position.

In 2014, Mercedes driver and former world champion Lewis Hamilton has qualified on Pole in rainy conditions after a lap of 1:59.431. Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel scored his first front row start of the 2014 Formula One F1 season. Red Bull appear to be back, but the questions regarding the fuel flow controversy that led to Daniel Ricciardo's disqualification at Australia have not been resolved.

Nico Rosberg will line up third. Begging the question... Will team orders lead to an intra-squad squabbling ? Will Rosberg give up his world championship lead because the team requires him to do so ? While Rosberg wasn't quickest in the wet qualifying, he has certainly been the fastest in the dry.

An amazing statistic is that the winner of the Malaysian Grand Prix has started third or better since 2003 with one exception, Alonso in 2012. This year, Alonso will start fourth.

So here is our pick today, Lewis Hamilton will take victory. The Mercedes are the car to beat so far in 2014, and they can only beat themselves right now.

Should Hamilton fail, keep an eye on Rosberg for his second win of the season.

But keep your third eye on the weather... it can jump out of the jungle and play a factor at any time. If the rains should fall, it will be a full scrum, and ANY car that stays on the grid could be a first time winner.

So enjoy the 2014 Malaysian Grand Prix, the event always brings surprises, and this year won't be any different!

Note - Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen will drop three places and start 10th on the grid for the 2013 Malaysia Grand Prix after FIA stewards declared he impeded Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) during qualifying. Raikkonen "unnecessarily hindered by Rosberg between Turns 12 and 15"


 

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2014 Malaysian GP: Formula One Qualifying Results
Pos No Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Laps
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:57.202 1:59.041 1:59.431 22
2 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:57.654 1:59.399 1:59.486 20
3 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:57.183 1:59.445 2:00.050 23
4 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:58.889 2:01.356 2:00.175 22
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:58.913 2:00.147 2:00.541 20
6 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:59.257 2:01.532 2:01.218 21
7 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:58.883 2:00.839 2:01.712 23
8 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 2:00.358 2:02.094 2:02.213 20
9 25 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Renault 2:01.689 2:02.096 2:03.078 23
10 22 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 2:00.889 2:01.810 2:04.053 22
11 26 Daniil Kvyat STR-Renault 2:01.175 2:02.351 16
12 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 2:01.134 2:02.369 16
13 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 2:00.047 2:02.460 16
14 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 2:00.076 2:02.511 15
15 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1:59.709 2:02.756 17
16 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 2:00.202 2:02.885 17
17 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 2:02.074 8
18 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 2:02.131 7
19 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 2:02.702 8
20 10 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 2:03.595 8
21 4 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 2:04.388 8
22 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 2:04.407 7

Q1 107% Time 2:05.385



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