Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Sepang, 2012

2012 Malaysian Grand Prix grid

2012 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Row 11. Lewis Hamilton 1’36.219
2. Jenson Button 1’36.368
Row 23. Michael Schumacher 1’36.391
4. Mark Webber 1’36.461
Red Bull
Row 35. Sebastian Vettel 1’36.634
Red Bull
6. Romain Grosjean 1’36.658
Row 47. Nico Rosberg 1’36.664
8. Fernando Alonso 1’37.566
Row 59. Sergio Perez 1’37.698
10. Kimi Raikkonen* 1’36.461
Row 611. Pastor Maldonado 1’37.589
12. Felipe Massa 1’37.731
Row 713. Bruno Senna 1’37.841
14. Paul di Resta 1’37.877
Force India
Row 815. Daniel Ricciardo 1’37.883
Toro Rosso
16. Nico Hulkenberg 1’37.89
Force India
Row 917. Kamui Kobayashi 1’38.069
18. Jean-Eric Vergne 1’39.077
Toro Rosso
Row 1019. Vitaly Petrov 1’39.567
20. Timo Glock 1’40.903
Row 1121. Charles Pic 1’41.25
22. Pedro de la Rosa 1’42.914
Row 1223. Narain Karthikeyan 1’43.655
24. Heikki Kovalainen** 1’39.306

*Five-place penalty for gearbox change
**Five-place penalty for overtaking the safety car during the Australian Grand Prix

2012 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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87 comments on “2012 Malaysian Grand Prix grid”

  1. Wait, so the “clean” side on the Malaysian GP grid is the right side now?

    1. It was like that last year too. Both are similarly clean, but the inside has better line into turn one.

    2. Last year it was on the right side as depicted in Keiths chart.


    3. Don’t worry about that. Hamilton will be the first guy to worn out his tires, you know the way he drives plus his qualifying setup instead of an intelligent setup. Last but not least he flat spotted that left tire and you could see that it had a portion that was Flat and I’m pretty sure he will be the first one to put ’cause that tire looked really in bad condition.

      1. dont you listen?lewis said he was looking for a good balance between race setup and quali setup,because race setup is nicer to your tyres,but at the same time he didnt want to comprimize his quali pace too much.and he knows he needs to look after his tyres.

        1. Really. He is looking after his tires just the same way he flat spotted his left tires. Didn’t you see the condition of it on the slow motion replay? He will have to start with that tire and he hasn’t learn to tAke cAre of his tires in his entire f1career . So why would he be able to save and looks after his tires now? With the heat and hit temperatures in Malaysia. Just remember if it doesn’t rain he will go backwards. And will be the first one to pit while vettel will keep pounding lap after lap becuase he will start the race with the harder compound.

          1. lol qually set up ha that’s hillarious tete ham always beats j.b in qually and vettel on hard tyres good luck getting off line hell be swamped by grippier tyres ham probly will pit first but vettel going longer how will that help vettel has to use that tyre later on ham will start medium then hard,hard,hard

          2. Unfortunately the Mercedes team will just argue that the flat spooted tyre is “dangerous” and will ask permission to change it for a new one, which the FIA will allow them to do, as it allowed Rosberg to do in Australia.

            It is a shame that it works this way but no doubt it will happen. Rosberg seems to think he will do this again this race too, judging by his comments where he states that “unfortunately I lost some time on my quick lapafter a poor first corner which cost me (surprise surprise he says this exact turn of phrase) a few tenths and left me with alot of vibrations for the rest of the lap.”

            But then a sudden change of heart as he goes on to state “However I’m quite confident that we can compete very well tomorrow as we have worked hard on our race pace over the weekend.”

            i.e Rosberg is NOT worried at all about his race pace having to do a whole first stint on a tyre he described as having “alot of vibrations” as he already knows he won’t have to start the race on this slightly flatspotted tyre, because he did the same thing last weekend & got away with it.

            Personally I’m not the biggest fan of rewarding a driver’s mistake in qualifying by giving them a better tyre for the race. I understand the “danger” argument but there should be a line drawn in the sand else other drivers & teams are simply going to take advantage of this loophole all season.

          3. Sorry that 1st line was meant to read “the Mclaren team” not “the Mercedes team”, typo.

  2. Thank god I watched the quali instead of studying for uni tests. Really happy for Mclaren and especially Schumi!

    1. Who would have thought he’d be trouncing Nico in qualifying this year? Most 43 year olds are fat old gits. The margin between them is not even 3 tenths, but it was worth 5 places. Qualifying is awesome this year.

  3. Wish Rubens was here to give us a true measure of the Williams,

    1. Absolutely. Williams have produced what appears to be a half-decent car. If their drivers can’t do anything with it, it will be tragic. Especially after their previous few years.

      1. didn’t Maldanardo out qualify Rubens for most of the second 1/2 of last season?

        1. Exactly. So Rubens would have been where Bruno is. No change there.
          Is crazy how people overestimate Rubens.

    2. natalie schuster
      24th March 2012, 18:30

      dont see the point of getting rid of rubens, need his experience, bruno only there cos of name.

      1. Senna probably brings more money than Rubens. A sad state of affairs, but no way to avoid it. F1 is expensive

  4. Vettel set his time on the hard tyres and will be starting on them tomorrow. For the record, he was only 4 tenths off Lewis, so chances are he would’ve gotten pole today had he gone on mediums…


    1. Unless like last week he was behind Webber. Oh dear.

    2. I doubt it. The way I see it Vettel wasn’t happy at all with his pace on the medium compound.
      His face after qualifying said more than enough. If he could have gotten pole he wouldn’t have gone with the hard compound.

      1. I don’t. Doubt it. What I’m pretty certain of is that the tire that Hamilton badly flat spotted on his pole lap will make him go backwards unless the race starts under rain. Also due to his qualifying setup instead of a better race setup plus his inability to take care of the tires and the extreme heat on that race I can only see Hamilton going backwards.

        1. Mclaren will just argue the flat spot is dangerous & request the tyre be changed for a new one :-( Mercedes did this with Rosberg in Australia.

    3. Alan Bennett
      24th March 2012, 9:16

      I don’t agree. Lewis had time in hand and the medium only gives 2 tenths more supposedly.

    4. he didnt feel comfortable on the soft tyre,he felt faster on the hard tyre.also the hard tyre is on a few tenths slower,not 4-5 tenths.and its all if and buts anyway.coz lewis could have gone a few tenths quicker himself.

  5. Stunning performance from Schumacher!! Mclaren still has upper hands but it’s not so big. again Alonso shows everything he can but the car is simply dog. Massa and Senna are the most disappointing drivers compared to team mates. the race will be very exiting certainly!!

    1. I think Massa was vastly improved today, Senna made a couple of mistakes but was generally sort of disappointing I must admit.

      Schumacher and Raikkonen are absolutely useless and should give younger drivers a chance .. wasn’t that what people said? ;-) I’m really happy for their performances today but lets see how the race develops, it’ll be really difficult.

      1. Massa improved just marginally. Now he belongs in the league of drivers just above Karthikeyan and De la Rosa. Would say Massa’s current form puts him in the Petrov, Senna, Vergne league.

        It’s harsh, but Felipe shouldn’t be on the radar of any team if he gets dumped by Ferrari. Maybe HRT should look at poaching him, but I do not think any other team would show interest in Felipe.

    2. sid_prasher (@)
      24th March 2012, 9:34

      @eggry : Massa was 3 tenth off…but with the field so bunched together, it meant 3 cars between Alonso and him. I think he did ok today.

  6. BOOM! So impressive from Mclaren, and equally surprising that RBR are off the pace at an aero track.

    Gutted for Raikkonen, he deserves to be able to fight from the position earned. What do others think of the 5 place penalty for gearbox changes? Harsh if you ask me.

    1. Harsh, but it’s the same for everyone. Though I doubt it will matter much in the race. We’ve seen Raikkonen cut through the field in Melbourne and I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t be able to do so this race. The only thing is he’ll have less time fighting for the podium compared to if he hadn’t gotten a penalty.

  7. Button for the win, Red Bull could be stronger in the race. Very good show by Schumacher. Looks like Kimi will need another couple of races more to get sharper. In the midfield as expected Williams & Sauber are close followed by force india & STR. Ferrari could have a really horrible season even compared to 2009, then they put the blame on Kimi for lack of motivation & communicating with his engineers…. now what do they have to say!!!

    1. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Never mind look at Williams, and they don’t have a major manufacturer to bankroll them.

    2. Couldn’t agree with you more about everything. It’s a shame that Kimi lost 5 poditions. Anyway, I still believe he can do better than Alonso. The fight is going to be awesome to see.

  8. Gonna be a good prediction result. Got Hamilton on pole, and was just 0.002 off his time. Sweet!

    1. Man.. I messed up my predictions after taking a good look at FP3 results. I should have just stuck with my Friday gut and let it remain a Lewis pole.

      I missed the pole position time by just .008 myself :)

    2. I think I remember Keith saying you dont get any points for quali predictions..they’re just used as tie brakers…

      1. quali times rather*

    3. @xivizmath Well done! I wasn’t anywhere near this time.

  9. Massa was only 4 tenths of Alonso’s time.Not too bad… :p
    It ‘ll be interesting what Vettel manages to do tomorrow.
    Schumi was stunning! I will be deeply dissapointed if I don’t see on the podium!
    Rosberg will start 7th once again.He must get it together in Q3.

  10. Massa really need to buck up for points otherwise he has to pack up for good.

  11. Again true talent shines!!! Hamilton 2nd pole of the season…. Webber in front of wonder boy!! Kimi was solid… it´s a shame he got the penalty… Nice performance from Grosjean and Alonso… just keeps proving he is above Massa and some others on talent since he´s driving a sled!! My hat is off to him!!
    Las but certainly not least, AWESOME Shumacher is back!!! Seeing him on the press conference was a sight for sore eyes!!! It´s great to see him back and beating Nico! Just goes to show age has nothing to do with speed!!! Still the greatest Michael!!!

  12. I don’t understand anything. Vettel and Redbull definitely did a good strategy to put on the hard tyres for Vettel, as you know its going to last longer. Hamilton is going to wear the tyre the fastest. I see Vettel in the podiums once again. Perhaps Schumacher will knock Hamilton out of the podium this time round.

    1. Agree with you. Just watch the Pole lap where in the last corner he flat spotted the tire. He will start the race with those tires and I’m pretty sure that he will be the one to pit the soonest. Plus his pole setup, the way he destroys the tires and the heat in Malaysia will send him backwards instead of toward even though he has the best car this season. Watch out for the bulls, they are starting ( vettel) with the hardest tires wich will allohim to pit the latest while the other start suffering from drop in performance

      1. he set up his car for the race.and its the rears that you need to look after more than anything in malaysia.

      2. I see Redbull not interested to be king of qualifying this year, perhaps Vettel’s already in the record books. They seemed to be gathering more race stint data perhaps to compensate the loss time during Barcelona testing for their new chassis. Give Vettel sometime to accustom to driving without EBD, I’m sure he will learn, since he have become 2 time World Champion with his abilities.

        As far as I can see, RBR just trying to get Vettel into his 3rd World Championship title in a row by securing podium points finishers. I see where is RBR going.

      3. Bet you he gets to change the tyre for a new one on the grounds of “safety” unfortunately….

      4. tete and Aussie Fan, you keep posting the same replies over and over, stop it it is annoying. anyway hamiltons flat spot wasnt that bad, and redbull arent fast enough yet to be considered a chance tomorrow. they will probably be held up by 10 seconds behind schumacher and thats the race, mclaren 1-2. the only thing i see changing that is the rain. and what “lol” said is probably wrong too, it genuinly looks like mclaren have the faster car, and vettel explained the reason for using hard tyres, its because his softs on his car were not working so well in the temperature today. he may be able to run a longer first stint, but might get passed by a few cars on stickier tyres at the start and will probably running a bit slower then others around him for the first few laps, by then it might be too much to makeup the difference later.

        1. dkpioe, thats because I keep hearing the same silly reasoning behind why Hamilton will fall back at the start of the race, & its annoying…….also no one else has mentioned the tyre rule change in this discussion thread so its a valid point to raise every time someone INCORRECTLY states that Hamilton will HAVE to start the race on his flat spotted tyre……. geez

          1. Also just for the sake of it, I find your post annoying too as you have merely stated what about 5 other people have already said ;-)

    2. but you forget that Hard tyres could affect his start

  13. The fact that there’s only 0.445s difference between the top 8 cars – Mclaren, Mercedes, Red Bull, and Lotus – Truly shows how competive this season is.

    1. @Kingshark yeah its really good for the season as a whole. Plus the midfield battle is going to awesome.

      Fingers crossed for the first Constructors title since ’98 for Mclaren!!

  14. I predicted Hamilton for pole here on F1Fanatic, so very pleased with that.
    Michael should be dangerous on the opening lap, potentially taking the lead after turn 3. Was rather emotional seeing M.Schumacher in the press conference. Hopeful for a good race, would be nice if we had a few showers to add some drama but it could be great race without any rain. Enjoy the race people.

  15. hoping for rain tomorrow, lets do it SHUMI, one more time!!!!

    1. Michael is a legend, pretty much as good as he was when he was 25. I’d love to Michael win the race, I think I be so happy and emotional, I would jump so high the ceiling of my room would collapse with me hitting it.. Michael probably has more chance of winning if it’s wet but should be a great race without any rain. Fingers crossed for Michael, lets make it a 92nd victory for Michael. (Over 40’s can drive like 22 year olds).

      1. I couldn’t agree more. All the other drives in the top five have recent(ish) wins – be lovely for MS to get one.

        I believe in the past HAM badly flat spotted a tyre in quali, they are allowed to re-balance it. It made no significant difference to strategy nor to his pace.

  16. Its going to be an exciting race tomorrow. I want Hamilton to win but not confident he will. However Malaysia is known to thrown a few unknown variables so who knows. Hamilton clear has the speed, a good race strategy and tyre management is what he needs to work on.

    Vettel clear doesn’t like the car. It looks like last year car suited him and this year suits Webber .. Odd. Last year Pole time 1:34.870 and this year 1:36.219 clearly shows the power of EBD.

    Bring on sunday!!

    1. @DT(ditto)
      EBD just one factor.
      The tyres are now softer but not necessarily faster. The new tyres can take even less abuse than those from2011.

  17. Looking at the grid, I can almost hear Withmarsh’s brain ticking….,.o0..how can we get Button’s car into leading the race at the end..0o..

    1. All you can hear is your own prejudices about Whitmarsh talking.

      1. Keith I’m not prejudiced.
        I think Withmarsh is a decent guy most of the time.
        But I now have a strong opinion. And it didn’t happen overnight. I have seen a pattern which has influenced my opinion. That is not prejudice.
        I have criticised Withmarsh when he was apparently too interested in FOTA than the fact that his team was being trounced repeatedly by RBR.
        I have praised him for doing the right thing by ensuring continuity in the car design department.
        If not for the comments Withmarsh made after Turkey 2010, I’d probably not have bothered to pay any attention to Mclaren team issues.
        Prejudice is a harsh word.

        1. I have seen a pattern which has influenced my opinion.

          And despite me asking you several times before to show us this “pattern” you still haven’t.

          You can’t expect to be taken seriously if you persistently make insinuous allegations about people without providing anything to back it up other than speculation, conjecture and vitriol.

    2. ah OOliver, same old same old….. i am already awaiting your post-race comments on how the all-mighty Lewis Hamilton got screwed over by his team and that biased monster we call Martin Whitmarsh, if does not happen to win(which is always likely..)

      1. @LexBlair.
        I praised Button’s performance and the way he dominated the race. I said Mclaren missed an opportunity to get a 1 – 2.

        And I said why I felt they could have.done the second pitstop in a different way. Something they had done in the past when Button was the driver behind.
        Pit stops are all about windows. If you miss the optimum window, you can go from first to fifth. It is that simple.

    3. yes, whitmarsh will press a button on the remote control which will induce wheel spin in second gear for hamilton off the start line, and will then alter the engine maps so that hamilton drives the soft tyres harder then button so that they will wear out quicker. mmm, yes, i can see whitmarsh plotting that :P

  18. they better get hamiltons strategy right tomorrow,coz they normally pit him at the wrong times,making things more difficult for him.

    1. @Mathew
      Apparently many people have noticed the trend while some just choose to pretend its not ther.

      1. kenneth Ntulume
        24th March 2012, 10:23

        But why nothing is done about it, is beyond the scope of this site

      2. believe it or not if they would pit Hamilton right when his tyres are wear off, then they would always pit him 2-3 laps before the other drivers…. so in a race with 3-4 pit stops planned that would be an extra pit stop while the front runners could remain on their own pit-stop strategy therefore getting some 15+ seconds out of Hamilton without a single problem, considering HAM would only be faster for the duration of 2-3 laps….you can´t just pit whenever your tyres start loosing grip—- this is also something that some people just choose to pretend not to realize nor understand

        1. kenneth Ntulume
          24th March 2012, 11:41

          sounds reasonable

        2. How did you come about Hamilton needing to stop 2-3 laps earlier?

    2. Hamilton often makes his own mistakes when it comes to tyres (which he has admitted in the past) and the leading driver will get preference over when they pit in relation to their team mate.

      It just so happens his teammate is outstanding in the wet.

  19. Mercs, Mclaren, RBR, Lotus and Ferrari is battling for supremacy. The last chicane corner in Sepang will be very crucial to determine fastest lap time. No rain, please!

    1. + 1 No rain please.

  20. Hamilton must be able to pit when he is ready after optimizing his tires and winning chances and depending on race conditions…instead of team strategy to maximize team points which only plays to help button.

    1. if he is second behind button before the first pit stops, then as per mclaren team policy, they pit the leading driver first, then hamilton will pit after.

  21. Quite easy to see why Horner wants more clarification on the Mercedes wing. If they keep getting in the way of RedBull they fear it’s going to be too hard to win this year. If only Horner could deal with something his team didn’t create…

    1. I believe RedBull are looking into the driver-activated-moveable-aero-device legality concept rather than just copying FWF-Duct, then there would be no point in getting their invention and wait for the FIA to reject it

    2. if you were in horners position you would do the same thing, he will not complain about a car genuinly going faster then his, but if it is a loophole in the rules, then he can question it, as he has a chance of having the loophole closed. other devices have been banned in the past which seemed less like potentially being outside the rules. also redbulls exhaust blown diffuser which was legal for so long was also banned, so he can complain as much as he wants, its just the poletics of f1

      1. If i were in Horner’s position I would question it but only to a certain extent. Except, since it has already been deemed legal twice than questioning it further is absolutely unnecessary and excessive. I’m sure, like you mentioned, he is hoping for it to be banned but lets not just point fingers at every little loophole there is. Absolutely agree with it just being politics.

  22. Can I just say, despite all the maths involved in F1, it is apparently quite difficult to add 5 and 5 together. After qualifying, Raikkonen’s final starting position was calculated as 8 and 9 and in all the Sky coverage, it wasn’t actually ever correctly reported as P10. Strange :D

  23. Williams keep blowing chances, their car was good enough to be better ranked.

  24. 10. Kimi Raikkonen* 1’36.4611

    So now in F1 we measure time in a fraction of 10,000’s of seconds?

    1. Nah it’s just a typo!

  25. Pic managed to improve the gap to Glock by exactly .4s.

    That’s pretty positive stuff for him and he ought to be really happy with that.

  26. When was the last time Webber outqualified Vettel?

    1. Answered my own question. 2011 German GP.

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