Malaysia special because of track characteristics, says Perez

After finishing fifth and 10th in the Singapore Grand Prix, Force India drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon are ready for the Malaysian challenge.

Malaysia special because of track characteristics, says Perez
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India VJM10
Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1
Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India VJM10
Dr. Vijay Mallya, Sahara Force India Formula One Team Owner with a Kingfisher rickshaw
Sergio Perez, Esteban Ocon, Dr. Vijay Mallya, Sahara Force India Formula One Team Owner

Perez is seventh in the drivers’ standings with 68 points, while Ocon is eighth with 56 points. The Vijay Mallya-owned team is fourth among the constructors with 124 points.

“Malaysia is a place that means a lot to me. It’s where I got my first ever podium in Formula 1 in 2012,” said Perez.

“After Singapore, it’s another very hot race. I think last year’s was the hottest race I’ve ever experienced in my whole career. So, I expect to sweat a lot on Sunday.

“The weather is so unpredictable. You can have a big storm all of a sudden and then it can dry up again in five minutes, because it’s so warm and humid.

“Every year, Malaysia is special because of the heat and track characteristics.

“I’ll be really sad to see Sepang disappear from the calendar,” he added.

Ocon said: “I really love the Sepang track. I enjoy chicanes and there are quite a few in Malaysia, with some nice combinations of fast and medium speed corners.

“When you have a good car in qualifying, you can just feel the grip. It’s very enjoyable.

“It’s a very tough race because of the heat and humidity. Rain can play a big part. Last year, everyone kept telling me that, but it was just mega sunny and warm all weekend.

“It’s sad we will be racing here for the last time because it’s such a cool track. I am going to miss it.” 

Mallya expressed happiness with the points gained in Singapore. “Leaving Singapore with 11 points was a very satisfactory outcome from a tricky weekend. It reminds us that even after a tough qualifying session, there is always plenty to fight for on Sunday,” he said.

“We also took a lot of positives from the pace of the VJM10 during the race and it’s clear that we have the potential for some more strong performances in the final six events.

“This weekend is the last visit to Sepang and hopefully we can sign off with some points. It probably won’t be our strongest circuit of the year, but we should be competitive, especially with the updates we continue to bring to the car,” he added.

Chief Race Engineer Tom McCullough feels the setup of the car needs to accommodate a wide range of speeds. “The Sepang track features a good mix of low, medium and very high speed corners. So, the setup needs to accommodate a large speed range,” he said.

“The track was resurfaced prior to the race last year. That improved ride response and reduced tyre degradation. It will be interesting to see how the track surface has evolved since,” he added.

 
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