There have been some small updates in Malaysia. Ferrari were running a new front wing which they trialled but didn’t race in Australia, Williams and Sauber were running ‘ductless’ brakes, where there is no large cooling duct, instead they just use the carbon fibre upright backing plate to guide air into the brake shrouds to cool the discs. The benefit of not using the large ducts is a reduction in drag, and an improvement to the airflow that flows between the chassis and the wheels and through the suspension elements.
Something was spotted on the Ferrari car that Renault were using in 2001, bought to the car at Alonso’s request, a carbon connecting rod that connects the gearbox to the chassis. This rod provides extra stiffness and support at the rear of the car, reducing further the amount of movement that the engine and gearbox have when stressed. The links to these updates will be down below.
HRT also had DRS for the first time so far this season. They managed to qualify for the race, but were well over a second off the pace of Marussia in qualifying. However they had much, much better race pace, which is similar to the Ferrari. They struggle with overall pace, but are much more improved in the race.
The new Ferrari front wing – http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/df/Fernando_Alonso_won_2012_Malaysian_GP.jpg
The Williams front brake ducts – http://www.formula1.com/news/technical/2012/865/946.html
The Sauber front brake ducts – http://www.formula1.com/news/technical/2012/865/947.html
The Ferrari gearbox support rod – http://www.formula1.com/news/technical/2012/865/948.html