In addition to the changeable weather, teams have to contend with Malaysia’s hot and humid conditions, where ground temperatures at the Sepang International Circuit can exceed 122 degrees F (50 degrees C) during the hottest part of the day.
The current forecast for Sunday’s race is a peak temperature of 91 degrees F (33 degrees C), humidity levels at 66 percent and wind speeds low.
Unfortunately, there is a chance of a storm, though these don’t tend to last long in Malaysia and usually happen late in the day so hopefully it will happen outside of race time.
Pirelli has brought its P Zero Orange hard and P Zero White medium compounds for the race, though the Cinturato Green intermediates and Cinturato Blue full wet tires are also available should teams need them.
As mentioned, some drivers were already caught out in the rain during Friday’s initial practice session. Therefore the order on the time sheet was set in the first dry part, with Lotus’ Kimi Räikkönen proving fastest so far, followed by Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel and the two Ferrari drivers Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso third and fourth fastest, respectively.
Going into qualifying tomorrow and Sunday’s eventual race, Kimi Räikkönen leads the Drivers’ Championship points table with 25 points, followed by Fernando Alonso with 18 points and Sebastian Vettel with 15 points.
In the Constructors’ Championship, Ferrari leads with 30 points, followed by Lotus on 26 points and Red Bull Racing on 23 points.