The German faces a very tough challenge in World Champion Lewis Hamilton this coming weekend when they face yet again for the Malaysia GP. Hamilton made an impressive race in the Australian season-opener two weeks ago, and now it’s time to go and try their luck at the Sepang Circuit.
Now another big question here is the Malaysian climate. It has delivered some spectacular downpours in recent times — well, many times — over the years. Weather reports at this time predict thunderstorms during the Friday afternoon, and then again Saturday. And Sunday. Humidity percentages range from low 70’s to 90% during the course of the weekend.
The Sepang Circuit in Kuala Lumpur features 15 corners, clockwise, with a total racing distance of 310km during the course of 56 laps and speeds averaging 194 kph. The typical strategy involves a 2 or 3 stop race, and a 20% of at least one awesome-looking Mercedes safety car appearing in the race.
Pirelli has opted to bring their Medium White compounds and Hard Orange compounds for the GP, and it seems pretty obvious why hearing what Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery had to say. “The Australian Grand Prix two weeks ago confirmed what we saw in testing: lap times that are two seconds or more faster this year compared to last year, in every session. This exponentially increases the workload on the tyres: something that will be particularly in evidence at Sepang, which has some of the most abrasive asphalt we race on all year.”
Malaysia also comes with two great drivers back on track in Valtteri Bottas and Fernando Alonso. They both were fully confirmed this Thursday following their final health check-ups.
So who will win this time round in Malaysia, will the Mercs dominate one more time?