The second race of the 2012 season is at Malaysia, a track which has one of the toughest opening sectors in the world, and is difficult just for its humidity and weather.
The track starts with the very long run down to Turn One, and braking at around 150 metres with a serious amount of pressure applied. It is the sort of corner that you have to get perfect, because there is an unforgiving gravel trap adjacent. Turn One is a nearly impossible right hander, which seems to take forever, as it integrates into Turn Two, another slow left hand hairpin bend. Turn One is one of the best overtaking places, as Sebastian Vettel proved at the mercy of Felipe Massa last year. This leads on to the sweeping Turn Three, before the straight leading to the very sharp Turn Four. A right hander which really is tough to get right, you need to get two apexes on entry and exit to the corner. Turn Five is a gentle but exceedingly tough left hander, taken flat out if done properly. Six, Seven and Eight follow, with the three joining together, with cornering speed, handling and the apexes absolutely crucial. Then a straight, before a very slow Turn Nine. The left hand hairpin is where Fernando Alonso passed Jenson Button in 2010. Ten is simple enough, before Turn Eleven, a corner that can be taken by just lifting, followed by a very similar Turn Twelve and Thirteen. Turn Fourteen, the penultimate corner, a sort of right hand mini-hairpin, which has to be broke for, inch perfectly. Then the very long back straight, one of the longest in the sport - and it leads on to the track's best overtaking spot - Turn Fifteen. The last corner on the track, it is a left hand hairpin, which is so hard to get the braking point right for. After this hard hairpin, it is the run down to the finish line, to complete a lap of the Sepang International Circuit. The video below is Lewis Hamilton's lap from Q3 in 2011, which earnt him a front row grid slot.
LEWIS HAMILTON - 2ND PLACE LAP 2011
The season continues in Kuala Lumpur, and keep with my blog for all the news and reaction from the second Grand Prix of the season.