Preview: Malaysia GP
This weekend the Sepang International Circuit will host the second grand prix of the formula one season. The circuit is known for its hot and humid conditions and will put car and driver to the test.
The first round of the championship, 2 weeks ago, proved to be disapointing, with only 15 cars effectively starting the race and only 11 cars ending it.
However, there's some hope that more cars will at least start the race. Assuming nobody gets injured, Manor actually drives and qualifies within 107% of the leading time in Q1 and that nobody gets mechanical issues during the formation lap, we might get 20 cars at the grid when the lights go out.
The question remains however how many of those cars will eventually finish. Renault clearly had vast reliability issues, along with Honda. Matters will not help due the very hot conditions on the track. Especially Honda will be hoping on a rainy Sunday to ensure sufficient cooling. Weather always has been fickle in Malaysia, and like previous years it's neigh impossible to make comments on a possible weather forecast.
In the meanwhile the world of F1 will be highly anticipating the return of Fernando Alonso. Skipping Melbourne on doctor's advice after his crash during testing, he seems fit and ready to return behind the wheel. A final checkup is needed to give him the all green, but everything indicates he will get that.
We also expect some more track action due the long straights. If more cars hold it together, we will hopefully get a much more exciting race.
Although both Ferrari and Williams claim that the track will suit them better, we can expect Mercedes locking out the front row again, after the crushing victory in Albert Park. However, a rainy Sunday might again level out the playing field and give opportunities to the competition.