Preview – 2015 Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix

23.03.2015 – Hinwil. After a successful season opener in Melbourne, the Sauber F1 Team and its drivers Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr are looking forward to the Malaysian Grand Prix. The second round of the FIA Formula One World Championship will take place from the 27th to 29th March on the Sepang International Circuit.

2nd Round of the FIA Formula One World Championship, 27th to 29th March 2015

Test and reserve driver Raffaele Marciello will drive in FP1 and thus have his Formula One debut during a Grand Prix. The Italian will be driving the Sauber C34-Ferrari for the first time in FP1 on Friday. Regular driver Felipe Nasr will take over the car from FP2 onwards.

News on our media portal: Besides the footage we had announced last week, we offer two more clips on the Sauber F1 Team media portal. One clip shows Felipe as “Race Driver at Heart” and the second one is the “Making of Filming Day” with Marcus Ericsson.

Marcus Ericsson (car number 9):
“After the great result in Melbourne, it feels good going to Malaysia. I know the track quite well from GP2 and also from last year in Formula One. For me it is quite an interesting circuit with many medium and high-speed corners, which are quite demanding for the tyres. The Malaysian Grand Prix is one of the toughest on the calendar, because of the high humidity and heat. It means you need to be in good physical shape, and I am sure I am. I have been training very hard over the winter, and before the race in Sepang I have spent one week at a training camp in Thailand getting acclimatised to the humidity. I am sure I will be one hundred percent ready when I get to Malaysia. Another aspect which comes into play is that we often have the risk of heavy rain there, so the races are usually quite exciting. I hope we can build on the progress we have made in Melbourne, and have another good race weekend.”

Felipe Nasr (car number 12):
“I am really looking forward to the Malaysian Grand Prix. It will be easier for me to approach this race weekend, as I know the track quite well from previous racing series, which was not the case in Melbourne. Looking back to our winter tests, I am confident that the layout of the track in Malaysia can suit our car. After a successful season opener in Melbourne, I think the Malaysian Grand Prix can be one of the races we can look forward to. The track consists of some

long straights and fasts corners, so I would expect a bigger tyre degradation. On the other hand, it is positive that our car seems to have a decent straight line speed, but I think some more downforce could help us to gain time in the high-speed corners. Overall, I am looking forward to my second race of the 2015 FIA Formula One World Championship.”

Raffaele Marciello (car number 36):
“It will be exciting to drive the Sauber C34-Ferrari for the first time. That will also be the same for the Italians, as we have not had an Italian driver in Formula One for quite a few years. I will definitely enjoy the experience, and I am really looking forward to it. I am confident I can do a good job as well as supporting the team in order to find a set-up for the car which suits the track. I have never been to Malaysia before, but I know the track quite well from the Ferrari simulator in Maranello, and I am sure I can get to learn it fast once I drive there. As the circuit has some fast corners, I think the car’s downforce will be crucial. Another important aspect will be the weather, as the humidity, along with the temperatures, is quite high. From a driver’s perspective it will be a challenge, but this is the same for everyone. Together with my trainer, I am getting well prepared for this weekend.“

Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering:
“The Sauber C34-Ferrari has proven itself to be a competitive and reliable car in Melbourne, and now the team is looking forward to further confirmation in remarkably different conditions such as the race weekend we will encounter in Malaysia. Firstly, the circuit at Sepang is biased towards medium to high-speed corners, and it is a very technical one, offering more racing lines due to its width. Secondly, the climatic conditions are usually extreme, thus the event is demanding for drivers and cars. Thirdly, Pirelli’s compound allocation covers the stiffest side of the scale, with hard as prime and medium as option. And lastly, there is no way to accurately predict the rain, which is not uncommon in the afternoon at this time of the year.”

Circuit: Sepang International Circuit / 5.543 km
Race distance: 56 laps / 310.408 km
Schedule: Qualifying 17:00 hrs local time (10:00 CET), Race 15:00 hrs local time (9:00 hrs CET)