F1 moves to Malaysia and challenging Sepang circuit

With hardly time to catch our breath after the Australian opener, Formula 1 moves to Malaysia this weekend. TOM WILKINSON previews the Kuala Lumpur Grand Prix.

Plenty of corners and two fast straights promise plenty of overtaking opportunities.

Having barely had time to catch our breath after Melbourne, we now arrive in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for Round Two of the Formula 1 2012 season.
After the thrills, spills and excitement of Albert Park last weekend, many will be expecting round two, to be just as exciting. The fast and flowing Sepang circuit throws many challenges at the cars and drivers. Many fast corners and two long straight’s mean great overtaking opportunities. I expect the Malaysian Grand Prix to be another thrilling race.
With the dominance of the McLaren’s last weekend, all eyes will be on the other teams to see if they can catch up. The main focus will surely be on the Red Bulls who were not the team they were last season. The dominance and the confidence seems to have somewhat faded. Many will be expecting the fast, flowing Sepang Circuit to favour the Red Bull, but in 2012, it’s anyone’s guess.
Will Ferrari catch up, will they be any closer to the pace? It’s unlikely, but this year is set to be so unpredictable. Mercedes and Lotus will be looking for better race pace on Sunday. They were both unlucky down under, just one week ago, especially with a gearbox failure on Schumacher’s car.
After a disastrous race in Australia, HRT will be looking for big improvements throughout this weekend, but particularly in Qualifying. They will be looking to start the race this Sunday – something they failed to do last time out.
We are in for another great race I am sure. Let’s take a look at the Sepang Circuit.
With fast and flowing turns, it’s a real challenge for car and driver. But the circuit is just the start. The heat and humidity of Malaysia is the biggest challenge. The drivers need plenty of fluids before the race to remain hydrated. With the tropical weather in this part of the world, rain clouds can form from nowhere. When it rains here, it rains hard. The track can be flooded in minutes. Remember back in 2009 when the race was stopped due to the rain, Jenson Button eventually won that race in the Brawn car, after much confusion.
The possibility of a Safety Car here is low. The only real possibility could be a turn one or turn two crash, or poor weather conditions. The Sepang circuit is one of the widest on the calendar. It has plenty of run off areas all around too. It was one of the first true modern tracks to enter F1 back in 1999.
It’s another early start for all sessions this weekend. I will be covering all sessions on Saturday and Sunday, live on Twitter @TomWilkinson89. The weekend schedule is at the bottom of the page.
Join us here at wheelworldreviews.co.uk for the full review of the Grand Prix. It is set to be a very close battle once again. However you’re watching; enjoy the 2012 Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix.

TV Schedule:
SkySportsF1HD (Live Coverage)
FP1 01:45
FP2 03:55
FP3 04:45
Qualifying 07:00
Race 07:30
BBC (Highlights)
Qualifying Highlights 13:00
Race Highlights 14:45