After an eventful first race of the Formula One season in Australia last weekend, the teams will make a quick turnaround for round two in Malaysia. Following a rain-delayed qualifying session in Melbourne, Kimi Raikkonen got his season off to the best possible start as he came up from seventh on the grid to claim the checkered flag.
The Lotus driver will now look to capitalize on that victory at a track where he has won three times, including his first ever victory in Formula One back in 2003.
Raikkonen, though, believes that little can be read into the results from the opening race heading to Kuala Lumpur.
“I think we have to do two or three races before we really know who is where and what’s going to happen,” he said, according to Formula One’s official Web site. “It’s probably going to rain again in Malaysia at some point but it will be a different circuit, different conditions.”
Ferrari also had a strong start Down Under and they have the early lead in the constructors’ championship, with Fernando Alonso finishing fourth and Felipe Massa two places further back. Alonso won last year on the Sepang track,
“Sepang is a very different track and our plan is to make the most of the package that we have,” said Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali. “We need to wait and see how our car will behave in what is a totally different environment: the track will make different demands on the cars to the ones we experienced in Australia, with a change in track surface and the unique weather conditions, very hot and humid, will also impact on everyone’s performance this weekend.”
Where to watch: First practice gets underway at 10 p.m. ET on Thursday, with the second session following at 2 a.m. ET on Friday morning. Coverage of the second session will be provided by the NBC Sports Network. A live stream of both, which you view at your own discretion, will be available here.