Daily Archives: April 12, 2011

Malaysian Grand Prix stats and facts

Sebastian Vettel’s second win of the season means he now has 4 wins in a row, including last year’s Brazil and Abu Dhabi successes. Also from the Malaysian Grand Prix:

  • A 3rd place finish from Nick Heidfeld was the 100th podium position for a Renault driver.
  • It was also the 13th podium for Heidfeld without a win, beating Stefan Johansson to a certainly unenviable record.
  • Vettel has led 109 out of the 114 laps so far this season. He also has a 24-point lead in the championship, the largest gap to seconds place since Singapore 2009, when Jenson Button led by 25 points.
  • Sebastian has never slipped below 4th place in any race so far this year. Compare that to Pastor Maldonado, whose highest position has been 15th at any point.
  • His 12th career win is as many as Mario Andretti, Alan Jones and Carlos Reutemann. His 17th pole position is the same as Jackie Stewart.
  • Heidfeld also holds the records for most points without a win, and is behind Andrea de Cesaris in “most races without a win”. Nick has 240 points so far in his career, ahead of second-placed Nico Rosberg with 217.5.
  • Lewis Hamilton’s 2nd place on the grid means he has started 42.47% of his races on the front row. This puts him ahead of Michael Schumacher, who has 42.44%.
  • Vettel’s 9th pole position and victory matches him alongside Lewis Hamilton, Niki Lauda and Alberto Ascari.

Di Resta leads complaints over Pirelli “rubber bullets”

This year, heavily degrading Pirelli tyres have brought an extra spice to Formula 1. However, Force India driver Paul di Resta has pointed out that “marbles” – pieces of discarded rubber – were striking him throughout the entire weekend.

These “marbles” are littered off the racing line, as a by-product of tyre wear. In the past, this was not such a major concern, but with the heavily wearing Pirelli tyres, these marbles have been dubbed by some as “rubber bullets”, as they are picked up and flicked at the driver.

Di Resta claims that this was a problem all race weekend:

"There are a lot of marbles out there, maybe too many. Come the end of the race, it 
gets difficult to overtake.

The other big thing is that they kept coming up and hitting me in the hands. In the 
middle of a fast corner, these lumps of rubber would be smacking into my hands as I 
turned the wheel.

Rubber is not the softest material and if it got you in the right place, it could 
hurt. It happened quite a few times over the weekend and as you go into the corner, 
the rubber runs across the tyre and flicks up."

The amount of discarded rubber off the racing line is so copious this year that it is clearly visible for TV viewers in the second half of the race.

Pirelli’s director of motorsport, Paul Hembery, has defended his company’s approach, saying:

"I have not had those comments from the top three but if it’s an issue, we will have 
to confront it. There was a lot of overtaking though. We will have to analyse all the 
overtaking manoeuvres but the marbles have to go somewhere and that is a difficulty 
for us."

 

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