Grand Prix Preview: Malaysian GP

Following the exciting and intriguing 2014 season opener in Australia, focus now switches to the Sepang International Circuit and this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix.

The first round of the new F1 era gave us a glimpse of the potential competitive order, with Mercedes currently at the front of the pack. However, rival teams are determined to catch up with McLaren and Williams looking to be in the mix, as well as Ferrari. Red Bull’s pace was better than expected in Melbourne and surprised many.

Reliability will be even more important in Malaysia, particularly due to the warmer temperatures and higher humidity levels that make the race the most challenging on the calendar. F1 drivers have already had to slim down due to the minimum weight limit, but they can lose up to 5% of their body weight during the 56-lap race due to the physical demands of the track and climate.

Of the current crop of drivers, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel are the most successful around the 3.44-mile track. The former has won the race for three different teams – Renault in 2005, McLaren in 2007 and Ferrari in 2012 – while the latter has won all of his for Red Bull Racing (2010, 2011, and 2013).

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