Malaysian GP: Williams preview

Erratum: It was incorrectly stated in the team's Australian GP Review that Nico Rosberg "...crossed the line in P6. He was later promoted to P5." This should of course read that Nico finished in P7 and was later promoted to P6. At a Glance When...

Erratum: It was incorrectly stated in the team's Australian GP Review that Nico Rosberg "...crossed the line in P6. He was later promoted to P5." This should of course read that Nico finished in P7 and was later promoted to P6.

At a Glance
When Friday April 3 to Sunday April 5, 2009
Where Sepang Circuit, Kula Lumpur, Malaysia
Round 2 of 17
Standings N Rosberg 3 pts (6th), K Nakajima -, AT&T Williams 3pts (5th)

Malaysia Hot Topics
Will the Melbourne form guide translate to Malaysia?
Will the step between the tyre options be so profound?
Will the late session times in Sepang mean track action in the rain?

Sepang circuit in a nutshell

At many Grands Prix, drivers who qualify towards the front favour two-stop strategies -- a lighter fuel load equates to speed, rather than stealth -- while some farther back gamble on a single pit stop, in the hope that circumstance might shuffle them into the reckoning. In the gruelling heat of Malaysia, significant tyre wear might dissuade anybody from taking such a gamble. The track often remains slippery, too, because fierce overnight storms wash away rubber laid down the previous day. Note that this year's race is scheduled for late afternoon, when tropical rain is a possibility...

What the Drivers Say

On Sepang circuit

Kazuki "For me, Sepang is one of the most exciting tracks we visit during the year. That doesn't mean it is an easy track, far from it, as it has some complex and technical corner sequences and some that demand special attention such as turns 11 and 14 where your braking and turn-in sequence is different to say the least."

Nico "Just like Kazuki, I really like the Sepang circuit, it is fast and flowing and has a nice variation of corners that makes it really exciting to drive."

On Malaysia (the climate, the people, the food..)

Kazuki "Well, Malaysia is closer to my home country than many of the places we visit, so I find it more familiar in terms of the culture, the food etc. I raced at Sepang in Japanese GT, so I am also a bit better acquainted with the place, but of course the heat and the humidity are quite exceptional."

Nico "The climate makes the racing very demanding for driver and machine. The heat and humidity means that it is physically exhausting and this is one track where the fitness training over the winter really pays off. I love the country, there is a nice warmth about the people too and like almost everywhere in Asia, I like the food, so it is a good place to visit every year."

Standing back from Albert Park -- Reflections of the first race

Nico "Of course we would have liked to have achieved more in Melbourne, but three solid points was a good start. More encouraging was our pace as we were right there with the quickest, which makes me hopeful for a good season."

Kazuki "I was running as high as P4 and this would have improved to P3 when Rubens pitted, so I can't deny the sense of disappointment in how the race turned out, but I have shut this out of my mind already and I am only taking the positives of the potential we showed with me to Malaysia."

On the late start times for the first two races

Kazuki "It was difficult with the low sunlight in Australia, especially as the light flickered and changed under the tree cover. We won't have this type of shadow at Sepang, but there is a different issue which is the possibility of reduced light conditions mixed with the likelihood of rain, so for sure these late race start times will have a bearing on my approach to qualifying and the race."

Nico "In Melbourne I found this a big concern as towards the end of the race the visibility was very poor, which increased the danger in my view as it was more likely that you could make a mistake. I'd rather the race changed back to its original start time or became a proper night race - that would improve matters a lot. "

-credit: williams

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Nico Rosberg
Teams Williams