Sepang International Circuit - Malaysian Grand Prix
Sepang International Circuit is located about 60 kilometres from the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. The Malaysian Grand Prix is maybe the toughest race of the season. The weather is extremely hot and humid with some of the highest temperatures on the Formula 1 calendar, which makes it a rather physical track and therefore one of the most exhausting circuits. The combination of the track and the climate is also hard on the engines. Engines are running almost 70 per cent of the lap at full throttle.
Sepang International Circuit is 5.54 kilometres long and features 15 corners, ten right-handers and five left-handers. The minimum track width is 16 meters. It is raced in a clockwise direction and is noted for its sweeping corners and wide straights. It has two long straights of nearly a kilometre each followed by tight, slow-speed corners, along with several extremely high-speed corners and the widest sections of track around. With its long straights and tight hairpins there are plenty of overtaking possibilities.
The tropical climate means that it could rain at any minute, so that is always a bit unpredictable, particularly because when it rains in Malaysia, it really rains! For the engineers, the set-up here is one of the toughest of the season. Setting up the chassis and suspension to cope with the varied nature of the circuit is a complex compromise. The track requires a fairly high level of aerodynamic downforce and excellent car balance. Malaysia's changeable weather and high temperatures can also result in tyre problems, which also affect braking deceleration. Tyre management is very important in Malaysia.