Text: Alex Yoong / Photos: | posted April 02, 2010 10:23
2010 Malaysian Grand Prix
As a driver you have to wear a three-layer fireproof suit, along with a balaclava, gloves and helmet. What this means is that not one bit of your skin is exposed to air.
Put a driver in that sort of environment where it’s close to 40 degrees in the shade and you have a driver perspiring like he is running a marathon even before he sits in the car.
So that is why Pedro De LaRosa thinks this is the toughest race on the calender. Having a drinks bottle that works is imperative. Even with a drinks bottle, you would still loose 3kg in body weight by the end of the race through fluid loss.
But will it be hot? There is rain predicted this weekend and I for one am hopeful that it does arrive, although not as bad as last year when it became too dangerous for drivers to continue.
As we saw in Melbourne, the rain helped produce some exciting racing. It is very unlikely that F1 will be able to do anything to help with overtaking this year, and so we must hope for weather conditions to help make Sunday as exciting as possible.
If it is hot and dry, reliability will come into the equation. Brake and tire wear will become a problem and fuel consumption will also go up, which is a big problem if you are Virgin Racing.
They realized at the last race that their fuel tank was bit too small and it would be touch and go to finish races.
A basic error to make and it means that until they fix the problem, finishing races in dry conditions could be a problem.
So who is going to win this weekend?
We know Redbull and Ferrari seem to be the form teams at the moment, but could Mclaren's clever rear wing help along the long straights of Malaysia?
I think it could and i expect them to be close to the pace this weekend. Mercedes and Renault should round out the top ten, but if it is wet all bets are off and we may get quite a lottery.
The beauty about the rain is that it is a great leveler, and drivers in cars that may not be so good in dry, can make a difference once it gets wet.
Let's not forget that Vettel scored his first win in the uncompetitive Torro Rosso when the rain was pouring down.
Who knows, we may even get some first points for home town team, Lotus Racing.