Looking through the press releases from each respective Formula One team this weekend has revealed a distinct pattern. Drivers have all identified one thing that is considerably unique to the Malaysian Grand Prix and is set to make a massive difference: the unpredictable weather.
Malaysia has created memorable and shocking moments with its wet weather. Sauber’s Sergio Perez finishing 2nd in 2012 and the monsoon like conditions that called off the 2009 iteration best spring to mind for most.
Ahead of this weekend, Perez reflected on that memorable and maiden podium, saying: “the emotions of that day will stay with me forever.” He told how the unpredictable rain forced the Sauber driver into “a position to fight for the win, [which] came as a shock for me as we did not expect it.”
Similarly, Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, who has won here a record four times, said: “there are thunderstorms there nearly every day.” He also said the rain racing here “feels great” and Malaysia is “one of those places that challenges you.”
Romain Grosjean at Haas shared an interesting story of the changeable conditions in 2015. “In Q2, I told my guys, It’s ‘raining,'” he said. “They replied, ‘No, it’s not’. For me, it was pouring down and I could barely keep the car on track.”
“The weather can play a huge role during the race weekend in Sepang” remarked Marcus Ericsson of Sauber. His team mate, Felipe Nasr, echoed his thoughts also saying: “the weather makes it an exciting race weekend.” He also said he believes this is because: “you never know when the rain will come into play.”
Pirelli has also highlighted the substantial effects of unexpected downpours. The common torrential rain rids the track of the previously laid rather which causes in consistency in track evolution. Paul Hembery of Pirelli commented on the unique weekend saying: “the weather can also change in an instant, turning the track into a monsoon.”
In turn, it’s obviously clear that weather will become a massive factor in this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix. Weather.com is currently predicting rain for all three days of on track running with a 60% chance of precipitation on Friday and 40% on the following Saturday and Sunday. I think we’d be kidding ourselves if we thought rain won’t play a factor in this years Grand Prix.