F1 - Malaysia 2014 - GP Preview - Marussia Ferrari
The second race of the new season sees the sport making the first of four visits to the Far East for Round 2 of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, the 2014 Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix. The Sepang International Circuit represents an entirely different challenge for the teams and drivers after the parkland setting of the season-opener in Melbourne. This is one of the most demanding and technical circuits on the Formula 1 calendar, underpinned by a complex blend of high-speed straights and tighter twisting sections, which the drivers love. The fierce heat and humidity make for a challenging environment in the garage and in the cockpit, and a sudden downpour can radically change the landscape of the race in a matter of seconds.
“On reflection, our race outcome in Australia was quite positive when we take into account the challenges of the winter, the issues we encountered at the start and the anticipated problems that afflicted the wider field. We completed two race distances in the opening round and the data that has yielded could not have provided us with a better baseline for our development programme. We have spent quite a bit of time since Melbourne analysing that information carefully to enable us to have a more straightforward and successful weekend in Malaysia. Sepang always throws up its own unique challenges, thanks to the combination of fierce heat and a well-timed downpour, but we hope for another positive showing and for two cars to see the chequered flag once again.”
Mattia Binotto, Scuderia Ferrari Engine & Electronics Deputy Director
“After a successful season debut in Melbourne, the Malaysia Grand Prix will provide an important next stage in the development of the cooperation between Scuderia Ferrari and the Marussia F1 Team. When you are at the beginning of a partnership, every day is precious. There are a thousand ways, not only technical but also human, which improve with an ever deeper mutual understanding and, consequently, they do grow on both sides. For Scuderia Ferrari a customer team is not simply a counterpart to provide with a technical supply but also a team with which to work together to grow, which takes on a value even more important in a season that presents a totally new technological challenge, as is the case this year. We have found in the Banbury team the same desire to learn that characterises our own team and that is another reason why we’re happy with the choice we’ve made!”
“I left Melbourne feeling pretty positive about our 2014 debut. We have a few things to iron out to give ourselves a better run at qualifying and the race, but I’m confident that we will see the first signs of progress with that this weekend in Malaysia. Our early level of reliability is quite encouraging and we’ve had two cars’ worth of data from the race to work with to really help us to troubleshoot our systems, so there are some really good signs at this stage. We still have some way to go to be able to gauge the true performance level of the car and we need to keep making steady in-roads into that to ensure we maintain a good direction. I’m excited to see what Malaysia will bring.”
“There were some good signs for us in Melbourne, but also a few challenges which got in the way of our progress, which was obviously quite frustrating. Overall, it has been really good to have the maximum information to look at with the engineers and what we have learned from that will be really helpful for us. I’m looking forward to getting back in the car and hoping for a more straightforward weekend in Malaysia, and one where we can really push the car a little more to explore its potential. Having said that, this is by no means an easy race; a very different challenge to Melbourne. Sepang is hard on the Team and the drivers, and also the car, with tougher circuit characteristics and of course the heat and humidity. So it is a difficult environment in which to push everything harder, but that is what we must do and bring home a good result.”