Malaysian GP: Sauber preview

After the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Team Sauber Petronas moves to Malaysia to compete in the second leg of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang on 21 March. Willy Rampf (Technical ...

After the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Team Sauber Petronas moves to Malaysia to compete in the second leg of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang on 21 March.

Willy Rampf (Technical Director):

"Sepang is like Albert Park in Australia, a maximum downforce track under the latest aerodynamic regulations. Cooling is also a critical factor. Especially for the race we have to prepare our maximum cooling capacity with the bodywork and we must also have some 'emergency' cooling in our pocket.

"The C23s will be in similar specification to Australia, because there was no time for us to test between races and the first components from our new wind tunnel at Hinwil will not come on stream until Imola.

"Overall, Sepang requires plenty of traction, so this will be the focus for the mechanical setting. There are a lot of high-speed corners, therefore stability is also important, together with good chassis handling balance. The high track temperature is very demanding for the tyres, but we are confident that Bridgestone will have a well performing tyre like in Melbourne. There is a high chance of rain, so rain setting has to be prepared.

"In Melbourne we were pleased with the performance of the Sauber Petronas C23 in the latter half of the race, which is very encouraging as we approach this important event. We will do our best to perform well in front of our sponsor Petronas."

Giancarlo Fisichella (124 GPs):

"Sepang is a very challenging track, which is why I really like it, but I'm not so keen on the temperature; it's too high for me! It's a very hard track physically. Most of the corners are quick - at least three-quarters of them - so the G force puts a lot of strain on your neck and shoulder muscles."

"Malaysia is a wonderful country and though we stay near the airport I am looking forward to seeing more of the country during our pre-race pr activities organised by Petronas."

"After the way my car went in Melbourne I'm feeling optimistic. Our package is improving all the time, as we learn more about setting it up."

Felipe Massa (17 GPs):

"Sepang is a very nice circuit. I really like the challenge it presents, and of course have the fond memory of scoring my first world championship point after finishing sixth there in 2002. There are a lot of quick corners and quick changes of direction, and I like that. It's not as hard on the brakes as Melbourne, it's more flowing, but you need good tyres there because it gets so hot, and good chassis balance. I really love driving there."

"The last time I was a Sauber Petronas driver I was lucky to see a lot of Kuala Lumpur. It has some great hotels and I learned a lot of the good places to go, so I'm really looking forward to being back there. I missed it last year."

"You cannot compare the Sauber Petronas C23 to the C21 I last drove there. It is in another world because Formula One progresses so much even in just two years. I think the C23 is really going to suit the circuit, as our set-up work keeps paying off."

-sauber-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Felipe Massa
Teams Sauber