The unanswered questions from Australia continue to be asked as we head into this weekend for the 17th Malaysian Grand Prix held at the Sepang International Circuit. The race is always a difficult one for both teams and drivers due to the sweltering heat and humidity, temperatures never usually dropping below 30 degrees and rain is notorious for making an appearance at some point over the Grand Prix weekend.
Circuit Facts and figures:
- First Winner: Eddie Irvine, Ferrari, Scuderia Ferrari.
- Track length 5.543km
- Lap record: Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams BMW F1 Team, 2004 01:34.223
- 2014 Pole position Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes 1:59.431 (wet conditions)
- 2014 Race winner: Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes Fastest lap 1:43.066 on lap 53
Mercedes of course are expected to win, the question is though, by what margin? Malaysia really will test teams with the hot conditions, with the German outfit having perfected their tyre runs in testing and reliability and other teams still struggling to run a standard race run we could be set to see Mercedes over a minute in front of the field. With the current rate of attrition of the grid could we potentially see the Silver Arrows lap the field if all goes well for them.
The weekend will also give Williams an opportunity to take the fight to Ferrari as it looks like the competition for best of the rest will intensify with Valtteri Bottas returning to his race seat pending passing a medical on Thursday after injuring his back during the Australian Grand Prix weekend.
The battle of the bulls will be interesting if Toro Rosso continue to be able to keep similar pace or even out pace their older sister team Red Bull, they could be looking very handy for the constructors to move up the field and could be looking at a podium should Williams and Ferrari have any problems.
Another question people will be asking will Manor actually be running this weekend, surely after 2 weeks passing they'd have been able to fire up the 2014 Ferrari power unit in their modified 2014 car. Eyebrows will most likely be raised either way as if they do run then they've done what a lot of people deemed to be impossible, however on the authorised if they dont run, then it could start getting a bit embarrassing for Formula One having a team entered but not able to run.
Sauber’s shaky start off track to the season is now behind them with a settlement having been reached with van der Garde so they can now hopefully fully focus on the race weekend. The Swiss outfit have already scored points on the bored and with the 2015 Ferrari power unit planted behind them it could be a promising weekend for the 2014 back markers.
If Manor were to run this weekend, how would you rate their chances of scoring points? Can Ferrari close the gap to either of the Mercedes cars this weekend? Please leave your comments and predictions for the weekend!
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