BMW Sauber: 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix preview 

Written by David on March 30th, 2009 at 9:36 amLast Update: March 30th, 2009 at 9:36 am

Willy Rampf: “We always look forward to this race in particular, as it’s the home Grand Prix for our partner PETRONAS. The Sepang circuit is very challenging and places big demands on the chassis and the teams’ choice of set-up. There are fast ess-bends in which stability is critical. At the same time, you need good traction under acceleration out of the tight corners, some of which are uphill. The right-hander before the back straight, which closes up at the exit, is especially tricky. Because the tyres are placed under heavy loads in the fast corners, in particular, in Sepang, we use the soft and the hard compound here. So we’re driving a level harder on them than in Melbourne. Cooling is also an issue, given the high ambient temperatures. And, of course, the weather is very unpredictable. You always have to be prepared for rain here.”

Nick Heidfeld:“For me Sepang is a nice, challenging circuit. Last year I managed to pull off some good overtaking moves there. The heat is always an issue, coupled with a high level of humidity. However, I’ve never had a problem with it and am particularly fit this year. We’ve often experienced cloudbursts in Malaysia in the late afternoon and early evening. This year’s schedule increases the chances that we will still be on the track at this time. Hopefully it will still be light enough. I always feel very much at ease in Malaysia. All the activities we’ve been involved in with PETRONAS have given me the chance to see a bit of the country and I’ve also been here on holiday. There is not a lot of time before the grand prix this year, but we have engagements with PETRONAS on Tuesday and Wednesday – and of course there will be a visit to the PETRONAS Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur. The towers fascinate me every time I see them, especially at night when they’re illuminated.”

Mario Theissen:”After the opening race of the season in Melbourne, we are now very much looking forward to our first home Grand Prix of 2009. Every year since our team was founded in 2006 we have seen for ourselves the charismatic presence of our premium partner PETRONAS in Malaysia. It is always amazing to experience the fantastic reception we enjoy as a team in Malaysia. Last year Nick recorded our first ever fastest race lap as a team in Sepang and Robert finished in an outstanding second place. Our aim is to pick up from where we left off with these good performances. The BMW Group has stepped up its involvement in Malaysia in recent years as part of its Asia strategy. The first of a total of seven races in Asia this year is an important one for BMW and PETRONAS, and will be keenly fought, that’s for certain!”

Robert Kubica:”The Malaysian Grand Prix is always something very special, as it is like a home race for us because of PETRONAS. We have a lot of fans in Malaysia and it is really a special feeling to drive there. The race went extremely well for me last year. Of course I hope that we can get a strong result again this time around. I’m really looking forward to this GP, as this is a unique track with a wide variety of corners; some are seriously quick, but others are very slow. And in some places you can choose different lines, which makes it particularly interesting. The final sector is very different from the other two, as it has just two long straights and a hard braking area. This track really offers everything, and that means it demands a lot of the car. The later start time means there is a pretty strong chance of rain. I’m sure that we are in for an extremely interesting weekend.”

source: BMW Sauber

No comments yet. Be the first.

Leave a Reply