Malaysian GP McLaren preview

The 2001 Malaysian Grand Prix, round two of the FIA Formula One World Championship, takes place for the third time at the picturesque Sepang circuit - a change from the race's previous position as the final event of the season.

The 2001 Malaysian Grand Prix, round two of the FIA Formula One World Championship, takes place for the third time at the picturesque Sepang circuit - a change from the race's previous position as the final event of the season.

The West McLaren Mercedes team arrives in Malaysia aiming to capitalise on the competitiveness demonstrated at the Australian Grand Prix a fortnight ago when David Coulthard secured a strong second position having started from sixth on the grid - a result which saw David taking his total number of Formula One Championship points to 300. Mika was running a strong second until his retirement caused by a suspension problem, which has now been cured by the team.

Sepang circuit, which is located close to Kuala Lumpur International Airport and approximately 45 minutes from the city centre, offers some of the best facilities in the sport and the 3.443 miles15.542 kilometre track encompasses a wide variety of challenges for both the drivers and the teams. The hot and humid weather conditions in Malaysia at this time of year also add to the challenge for the teams. The purpose-built venue provides numerous overtaking opportunities with the fast sweeping corners at the back of the circuit and long straights at the start of the track, situated either side of the largest grandstand in Formula One, with a capacity of 30,000 spectators.

Whilst the majority of the team and the MP4-I6 cars stayed in Australia after the race the West McLaren Mercedes test team has been in action at the Magny Cours circuit in France with third driver Alexander Wurz and young driver Gary Paffett at the wheel of the interim cars.

MlKA HAKKINEN
'I'm focusing on securing my first points of the 2001 season and the whole team is optimistic that we will leave Malaysia with a good result. I enjoy driving at Sepang as it offers a good mixture of corners and fast straights, the only downside is the humidity. but as long as we maintain our fluid intake I can't see this being a problem. I left Australia on the Sunday after the race to go back and spend some time with my family and am now ready for round two.'

DAVID COULTHARD
'We are looking forward to building on and improving the result obtained at the previous race in Australia and will be working hard to achieve the desired outcome. With the opportunities Sepang offers to overtake it should be an exciting race for both the teams and the fans. I enjoyed a few days holiday in Australia and have done a lot of training to be in top shape for the hot and humid conditions in Malaysia.'

RON DENNIS
'In Australia David demonstrated the potential of the MP4-16 with his second place and the whole team has been working hard since then to ensure that this potential is fully harnessed. We have been testing at Magny Cours and are confident that we are in good shape.'

-McLaren

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers David Coulthard , Alexander Wurz , Gary Paffett
Teams Mercedes , McLaren