Some thoughts from the team about the upcoming race
John Booth, Team Principal and Director of Racing:
“Our focus for now is on gathering as much data as possible to plough back into the development cycle to ensure we can go on to make those bigger steps through the season.”
“This round of long-haul races means there are few developments we can bring to the car until the next significant upgrade for Turkey. Our focus for now is on gathering as much data as possible to plough back into the development cycle to ensure we can go on to make those bigger steps through the season. This time last year we were struggling with reliability issues that were preventing us from finishing races. This year we’ve demonstrated that we are on top of that and that is a much better starting point to build upon. We know what we have to do, so whilst that work is taking place behind the scenes, the best job we can do is to keep bringing cars home and focusing on smaller incremental steps.
“After the cool temperatures in Australia, we now move on to Kuala Lumpur where the fierce heat and humidity are a major challenge for cars and drivers up and down the grid. The Monsoon-type downpours that we see - and which we have stopped races in the past - also represent a good opportunity as they displace the usual order and turn things into a bit more of a lottery – good for us and good for the fans.
The fierce heat and humidity are a major challenge
“The Sepang International Circuit has two very long straights, an elevation change and fast corners which make the racing good fun for the drivers. Of course nobody has run the Pirelli tyres in the kind of temperatures we are likely to experience in Sepang. In Melbourne we did not have the degradation levels we had been expecting after the tests in Spain, and it may well be that there will be another surprise in store in Malaysia.
“Timo is an old hand here but it will be Jérôme’s first time at Sepang, and not only will he have the circuit to learn - which he has been doing on the simulator - he will also have his first experience of driving a full Grand Prix distance in the Malaysian heat and humidity.”
Timo Glock, Race Driver #24:
“I feel like I have got back on track very quickly with the fitness side of things and I am spending the time between Australia and Malaysia making sure I am fully acclimatised and ready for the challenge.”
“Malaysia is one of the hardest races on the Formula One calendar and one for which fitness is very important. The heat and humidity are really punishing and so this is where the physical training really pays off. I feel like I have got back on track very quickly with the fitness side of things and I am spending the time between Australia and Malaysia making sure I am fully acclimatised and ready for the challenge.
I have lots of good memories from Malaysia - I finished on the podium in 2009 after chasing the leader, Jenson Button, before the race got red-flagged due to the big rainstorm. The Sepang track has a lot of character and it’s very physical, with Turn 14 being one of the toughest corners of all. It’s a race I will enjoy so we will try to make the best of our current package and aim to get both cars to the finish.”
Jérôme D’Ambrosio, Race Driver #25:
“I really learned a lot in Melbourne and I was very happy with the weekend as a starting point. I really enjoyed the whole experience of my debut Grand Prix. I learned a lot in Melbourne and I was very happy with the weekend as a starting point, so I’m looking forward to more of the same in Kuala Lumpur. I do know this track - the Sepang International Circuit - as I competed here in GP2 Asia. It’s a really interesting circuit layout and the challenge of racing in these tough conditions gives you a lot of satisfaction because it’s the best way of finding out just how fit you are. I think our focus will be on trying to do a better job in qualifying and getting both cars home again. Small but important steps for us until we get to Europe.”