Malaysian Grand Prix 2013: Sepang is extreme, admits Pirelli chief

Malaysian Grand Prix 2013: Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery describes the forthcoming race as "extreme"

The Sport Review staff
By    
malaysian grand pris 2013
Track action at the 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix Photo: Pirelli

malaysian grand pris 2013

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery has described the forthcoming Malaysian Grand Prix as one of the most “extreme” races of the Formula 1 season.

Following Kimi Raikkonen’s triumph at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, the hardest compound in Pirelli’s 2013 tyre range – the P Zero Orange hard – will make its debut this weekend.

Pirelli says that the two hardest compounds in the 2013 range are “ideal for the extreme temperatures and abrasive surface of Malaysia”.

“We would describe Sepang as genuinely ‘extreme’: both in terms of weather and track surface,” said Hembery.

“This means that it is one of the most demanding weekends for our tyres that we experience all year. For the first time we see our new Orange hard compound in competition, with this colour chosen to make it more easy to distinguish from the white medium on television.

“The nomination we have for Malaysia is the same as last year, but the compounds themselves offer more performance and deliberately increased degradation this season, Last year three stops proved to be the winning strategy in a mixed wet and dry race, with a thrilling finish between Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez that was all about tyres.

“We’d expect three stops again but once more it’s likely to be weather that dominates the action. Even when it isn’t raining, the drivers can expect humidity in the region of 80 per cent and ambient temperatures of more than 30 degrees centigrade.”

Malaysian Grand Prix 2013: Pre-race facts

• Malaysia is one of the more abrasive surfaces that the cars compete on all year, which is part of the reason why the two hardest compounds from the range have been nominated.

• The P Zero Orange hard tyre has a high working range, whereas the P Zero White medium has a low working range. This makes it an ideal combination that can deal well with any eventuality. The durability characteristics of the new hard tyre are close to those of last year’s medium tyre, resulting in lap times that are around 0.4s-0.5s quicker than the 2012-specification hard.

• The Sepang track is built on what was formerly a swamp, with a fundamentally uneven surface. However, the asphalt was resurfaced in 2007, which smoothed out most of the bumps – although some remain.

• Last year, the hard and medium compounds were also chosen for the Malaysian Grand Prix. The top five drivers adopted a three-stop strategy: intermediate-wet-intermediate-slick. Bruno Senna meanwhile, in fifth place, stopped four times.

MORE: Get TREBLE the odds on any sports bet. T&Cs apply

MORE: Have your say on Facebook

MORE: The latest football news

MORE: The latest tennis news

The Sport Review
Australian Open 2017: Johanna Konta and ‘the work between reality and dreams’
Australian Open preview
The Sport Review
Australian Open 2017 preview: Murray and Djokovic renew rivalry; Federer and Nadal return
Slideshow
The Sport Review
Photos: Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham stars watch NBA match in London together
The Sport Review
Dele Alli: 15 photos of Tottenham midfielder’s stunning girlfriend Ruby Mae
The Sport Review
Top 25 Muslim football players in Premier League: Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd and Chelsea stars feature
The Sport Review
Bastian Schweinsteiger: 17 photos of Man United midfielder’s beautiful wife Ana Ivanovic
The Sport Review
Seven players Man United could sign in the January transfer window
The Sport Review
Man United WAGs: Meet Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and David De Gea’s girlfriends
The Sport Review
Seven strikers Liverpool could sign in January transfer window
The Sport Review
Top 26 Christian footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man Utd players feature
The Sport Review
Australian Open 2017: Roger Federer “couldn’t be happier” after making winning return
The Sport Review
Paul Scholes sends blunt message to Diego Costa about his Chelsea future
The Sport Review
Mesut Ozil sends message to Arsenal fans and drops hint about future