This year sees Malaysia stage a Grand Prix for the 16th consecutive season, but which teams and drivers have performed best in the heat and humidity of Kuala Lumpur? 2014 Malaysia Grand Prix, like the Australian round which opened the new season a fortnight ago, won’t give us all of the answers about the pecking order under the new rules, but it will uncover a little more of the truth.
Circuit: Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur
Circuit length: 5.543 km
Number of corners: 15 (5 left, 10 right)
DRS zones: 2
Race laps: 56
Race distance: 310.408 km
The big concern for teams in Malaysia will be the heat and humidity, which will stretch the reliability of the new hybrid turbo power units to the limit. Teams are likely to cut open bodywork for additional cooling and this will harm the performance and stability of the cars and affect strategy. The cars with the best cooling will prosper.
Pirelli has nominated the medium and hard tyres, which should be robust but the difference in lap time performance between them will be key to strategy. A two stop race is envisaged unless it rains, like last year.
Overtaking is easy at the Sepang circuit, so expect to see plenty of passing, as drivers use their ERS boost and DRS to make up places. (UBS)
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