< Back To Home
PIRELLI.COM / NEWS

2016 Malaysian Grand Prix -
Practice Sessions

RECORD TRACK TEMPERATURES REGISTERED 
IN EXCESS OF 60 DEGREES DURING THE AFTERNOON

DRIVERS AND TEAMS USE FREE PRACTICE TO ASSESS NEW ASPHALT: OVER A SECOND BETWEEN THE MEDIUM AND SOFT TYRES

CLOUDY WEATHER EXPECTED TOMORROW 
WITH POSSIBILITY OF RAIN FOR THE RACE

Sepang, September 30, 2016 – The highest track temperatures in recent memory were recorded at Sepang in Malaysia at the start of FP2, hitting the 61 degree centigrade mark.

Track temperatures fluctuated throughout the day, which had an effect on lap times as the drivers and teams completed qualifying simulations and longer race runs, using all three of the compounds available: hard, medium, and soft.

The main focus of the work today was to understand the new asphalt at Sepang, which has smoothed out all the bumps and altered the racing line, as well as making the surface less abrasive. So far, the track seems quite a lot quicker, with the fastest lap times today already smashing the fastest times of the entire weekend last year.

However, it was quite hard for the teams to get an accurate picture of wear and degradation, due to time lost in FP1 following a red flag, variable track temperatures, and track evolution. Adding to the complication is the fact that qualifying tomorrow takes place in the late afternoon, three hours after the FP2 start time, meaning that today’s data is not necessarily representative.  Also, the weather could turn cloudier for the rest of the weekend, with a risk of rain on race day.

The fastest time of the day was set by Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton in FP2, who set a 1m34.944s on the soft tyre: around 1.3 seconds faster than the medium at the moment.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “The new asphalt in Malaysia seems to be quicker, and despite the hottest track temperatures seen in recent memory, all three of our compounds here stood up extremely well to the punishment, allowing times that were sometimes nearly five seconds faster than the equivalent sessions last year. But with the chance of different weather conditions for the remainder of the weekend, there are still a number of complex variables left to play out, which makes planning the strategy quite tricky at this point.”

FP1 - TIMES    
Rosberg       1m35.227s    Soft New
Hamilton      1m35.721s     Medium New
Raikkonen    1m36.315s    Soft New

FP2 – TIMES
Hamilton      1m34.944s    Soft New
Rosberg       1m35.177s      Soft New
Vettel           1m35.605s    Soft New

FP1 - BEST TIME PER COMPOUND
Hard             Ricciardo        1m36.753s    
Medium        Hamilton        1m35.721s
Soft              Rosberg          1m35.227s    

FP2 - BEST TIME PER COMPOUND
Hard             Hamilton         1m35.956s
Medium        Rosberg         1m36.543s
Soft              Hamilton        1m34.944s    

MOST LAPS BY COMPOUND 
Hard              Ocon                  24 laps
Medium         Grosjean            20
                      Hamilton            20
Soft               Gutierrez            20
                      Vettel                 20
                      Wehrlein            20

Tyre statistics of the day:
                                               Hard        Medium        Soft
kms driven *                           1257        2860             2233
sets used overall **                22           39                  33
highest number of laps **     24           20                  20

* The above number gives the total amount of kilometres driven in FP1 and FP2 today, all drivers combined.
           ** Per compound, all drivers combined.

Minimum prescribed tyre pressures: 20.5 psi (fronts) 18.5 psi (rears)

Pirelli fact of the day: There has already been a Malaysian FIA World Champion, driving a Pirelli-equipped Malaysian car. In 2002, Karamjit Singh won the Production Car World Rally Championship driving a Proton: to read all about this (and other unexpected race facts) please visit our magazine: http://racing.pirelli.com/global/en-ww/malaysia-s-motorsport-champion

Spotted in the paddock: No celebrities today but instead brand new pit buildings to accommodate all the team hospitality units, which were built as part of the circuit redevelopment earlier this year.

Read more