The FIA Formula One World Championship has its second race of the 2007 season with the Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang race track. It will be the ninth running of the Malaysian Grand Prix at the 5.543 km Sepang facility which is well-rated by most drivers.
It features a variety of almost every type of corner as well as two fast straights into second gear corners helping with overtaking opportunities. Hot weather conditions are often experienced here with the ever-present threat of rain.
The two tyres which will be used for this event are the hard and the medium compounds, both of which have to be used during the course of the race. The softer of the two tyres will feature a marking along the bottom of the second from inside groove to distinguish it.
Kees van de Grint, Bridgestone Motorsport Head of Track Engineering Operations:
Q: What are the challenges of running in the hot conditions often experienced in Malaysia?
KvdG: From what we learnt from the Malaysia test we are confident that both specifications can cope with the heat there were no major issues encountered. Because we selected the two hardest compound tyres in our range, the hard lacks a little bit of grip on a green track but that should be satisfactory with the expected improved track conditions during the GP itself. The medium compound had a good level of grip and sufficient wear life to allow for any sort of strategy.
Q: There is often rain here, how will this be a factor with the wet tyres?
KvdG: We had rain during the test and ran with both the wet and extreme wet tyres. One issue that often appears while running in the wet is to get temperature in the tyres. As it rains ''hot water'' here, it was not difficult to get the tyres to the correct temperature. I am expecting the same solid performance from our wet weather tyres should we experience rain during the race.
Q: What is the latest on the tyre markings?
KvdG: We have found a better solution by marking the bottom of the second from inside tyre groove white. This has received a positive response from teams and onlookers at the test. It is time consuming to apply to the tyres but is clearly visible on track.