OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
Stuttgart/Brackley, Germany/United Kingdom, Mar 31, 2010
GETTING SET FOR THE FIRST OF OUR HOME RACES
Just one week after the Australian Grand Prix, the third race of the 2010 Formula One season will take place at the Sepang International Circuit near Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia on Sunday 4 April. The Malaysian Grand Prix is the home race for the MERCEDES GP PETRONAS team’s title partner, PETRONAS, and the Malaysian company will be marking the occasion with a spectacular fan event, the PETRONAS Pit Pulse, in the centre of Kuala Lumpur throughout the week.
“Malaysia is one of my favourite circuits on the Formula One calendar. It’s fast and challenging with a nice layout and a real variation of corners which makes Sepang an exciting track to drive. I have generally qualified well there, starting from fourth on the grid last year and third in 2006. Although we didn’t quite achieve the qualifying and race results that were our full potential in Australia, we made good progress on the set-up of our car over the weekend. Sepang is a different type of track to Albert Park but these developments should benefit us and it’s a good circuit to see exactly how quick each team is at the moment. We will hope to continue our run of points-scoring finishes and stay within reach of the leaders in the Championship. It’s the home Grand Prix for our title partner PETRONAS and before the race weekend gets underway, I’m looking forward to our demo runs at the PETRONAS Pit Pulse on Wednesday.”
“I have taken a lot of positives from the race weekend in Melbourne. Whilst that might not be evident at first sight, when you look into the weekend more deeply, we did make some real improvements and have good reasons to be satisfied, just not from the actual result obviously. Analysing qualifying, both Nico and I could have been two or three places higher and with hindsight, my set-up was too conservative and too much focused on the race. Those better positions would have enabled us to fight closer to the front on Sunday. All of this means that we are not too far away and I am quite confident that there will be more to come. Going to Malaysia this weekend, we know that we have clearly improved our pace since Bahrain which is a good feeling. It was a lot of fun fighting it out on the track in Melbourne, even if it was just for one point, and I will enjoy fighting again in Sepang.”
“Malaysia will be a very special week for the team as the home race of our title partner PETRONAS, who are also the official sponsors of the Malaysian Grand Prix. In the first year of our partnership together, we are looking forward to working together here in Malaysia this week and it would be very nice to achieve a special result at one of our home Grands Prix. Before the race weekend gets underway, our drivers will be performing demo runs at the PETRONAS Pit Pulse site close to the Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur and making various appearances at the event. The Pit Pulse programme looks set to be spectacular and we hope to welcome many of the team’s fans there over the next few days. Looking ahead to the race, the team performed well in Melbourne, even though we do not yet have the pace to be competing right at the front of the field. Four points finishes from the first two races puts us in third place in the Constructors’ Championship and we need to keep this momentum going and keep scoring points whilst we work on improvements to the car.”
“The race in Malaysia will be the second Grand Prix within eight days and for our team, a really special event. Malaysia, with its capital in Kuala Lumpur, is the headquarters and the home of our title partner PETRONAS and thus the Malaysian Grand Prix is a new ‘home race’ for MERCEDES GP PETRONAS. The track layout at the Sepang International Circuit is significantly different from Albert Park in Melbourne which hosted an extremely thrilling Formula One race last weekend. The circuit, just outside the Kuala Lumpur city limits, features long and fast corners, tight hairpins and long straights. As usual for this race, we have to expect extremely hot and humid conditions, usually accompanied by torrential rain showers every now and then - a race in sauna conditions, virtually. This climate is the greatest challenge for the teams, cars and drivers. It is our target to score more points in Malaysia and to create the basis for further technical improvements. It would be particularly nice to achieve a good result at PETRONAS’s home race.”
* Official photo and info courtesy of MERCEDES GP PETRONAS *
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