Sniff Petrol fact lackey Wurke Esperiense previews the Malaysian Grand Prix
Malaysia is known for many things. Proton cars, spicy sauces, pairs of equally tall buildings and, of course, moisture. This last is likely to be a major factor in this weekend’s action as the Malaysian race is famous for being the dampest on the calendar. Last year, for example, the whole circuit became so humid during qualifying that seven members of the crowd drowned.
It was so hot and humid during the 2001 race that Juan Pablo Montoya famously sweated enough to fill 15 Olympic sized swimming pools. That’s almost two swimming pools more than he sweated at any other race that season.
Aside from heat and moistness, the biggest problem at this circuit is monkey attack.
The track itself is a mixture of tight corners and long straights. It is not suitable for anyone with a nut allergy.
The name ‘Sepang’ literally translates as ‘Standing Water’.
This is the track at which Kimi Raikkonen was famously spotted eating an ice cream after the 2009 race was halted due to rain / monkey frenzy. This has since been considered one of the most interesting things to happen in Malaysia and, as a result, this year’s grand prix is officially known as The Wall’s Viennetta 2013 Calippo Prix of Mint Cornetto.
Pirelli has chosen two tyres for the weekend, the hard compound and an unexpected new ‘ultrahard’ tyre which is made from solid rubber and will require three members of the pit crew to lift. The effect this tyre has on handling is said by most teams to be ‘worrying’ except for McLaren who said it was ‘no worse’.