A typically hot, humid and thundery weekend is forecast for the Malaysian grand prix.
New championship leader Jenson Button travels to Kuala Lumpur eyeing a weather forecast of possible rain for all three days of track action. And as ever in tropical Malaysia, the highest chance of rain is always in the late afternoon.
“Bernie (Ecclestone) loves a late start,” smiled Red Bull’s Mark Webber, “and, once again, the race has a late kick-off.”
Indeed, qualifying and the race are not scheduled until 4pm local in Malaysia, ensuring a more civil early morning wake-up for F1’s bulk live audience in Europe.
“Late afternoon is usually when the rain comes in Malaysia, and when it comes you know about it,” said Australian Webber. “It’s something to be wary of.”
Even more nervous about the rain forecasts will be HRT.
After sitting out almost the entire winter whilst rebuilding the struggling Spanish team following Colin Kolles’ departure, Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan failed to qualify in Melbourne.
“In Australia we were only able to complete seven timed laps so I need to get more track time, get to know the car better and improve the setup,” said de la Rosa.