Malaysian Grand Prix weather forecast

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Early forecasts indicate the Malaysian Grand Prix this weekend is likely to be affected by rain.

Over on the F1 Fanatic Forum ccolanto has been checking out the weather forecasts for Kuala Lumpur and thunderstorms are predicted throughout the weekend.

The chance of precipitation is rated around 60% for Friday and Saturday, rising to around 80% for race day on Sunday.

The 2001 Malaysian Grand Prix was famously disrupted by a thunderstorm but other than that every F1 race at the circuit has been run in dry conditions.

Ccolanto’s posted some links for following the weather forecast on the forum, you can also keep an eye on this weather radar as we get closer to the weekend.

Are you near Kuala Lumpur? What do you expect from the weather this weekend? Leave a comment below.

Malaysian Grand Prix 2009

44 comments on “Malaysian Grand Prix weather forecast”

  1. Yorricksfriend
    30th March 2009, 9:42

    fantastic! can’t wait

  2. Will be interesting if it rains, simply to see what the new cars are like in wet and tricky conditions :)

  3. i’m working within 30 km of the Sepang circuit and the weather now (5 pm) is very cloudy and can turn to rainy in a matter of minutes as they always do. I’m also looking forward for a wet race. Will update you guys with latest forecast daily

  4. Varun Murthy
    30th March 2009, 10:20

    WET RACE!!!!!!!! Yippie..

  5. Obviously last year all the tyres had some grooves and drivers sometimes stayed on dry tyres in light rain.
    Are slicks going to change this altogether, I don’t remember much about the last wet race I saw in F1 with slicks (It was a long time ago!)

    1. Worth remembering in Monaco 97′ Williams and McLaren sent both of their cars out on slicks when it had just begun to rain 5 mins before the formation lap , gambling that the rain would stop falling quickly.

      That never happened , all the cars on slicks had no grip on the first lap – Hakkinen and Coulthard crashed into each other , Frentzen was quickly falling back and JV got lapped on lap 16 by Schumacher despite changing onto wets.

    2. I think it was the same race aswell, where Schumacher was on wets then when a dry line appeared, he didn’t go in for slicks for ages.

      He kept going off the dry line to keeps his wet tyres for as long as he could and he ended up winning the race by a mile.

      Best wet drive I’ve ever seen, apart from Hamilton’s last year.

  6. Malaysian weather is the most unpredictable on the calendar, I guess same can be said about Singapore. We have blistering hot sunshine one minute, and in a matter of another couple minutes…we get violent thunderstorms, our local met service is as good as useless.

    It has been raining a lot this past week, I expect it to carry on. Plus, since the race is starting at 5 local time, if the heavens open up, expect the area to be pretty dark as well. I’m expecting a wet race and the mayhem we saw in Melbourne could repeat itself.

  7. Woho! My belief that Toyota will score well is reinforced! :)

  8. mmmm
    rain >> more accidents
    rain + KERS >> real danger?

    1. Scott Joslin
      30th March 2009, 19:09

      The racing could be “electric”

      Shocking, sorry!

  9. Cooooooooooool!!!

    I just hope it doesn’t rain so much that they have to cancel the race or anything like that.

    And can any Malaysian readers predict how dark it will be getting by the end of the race at about 6.30pm? I thought it made a nice change seeing the cars driving during the sunset at Melbourne.

    1. If its rainy weather, 630 could look pretty dark, but I can’t give you a definite answer as our weather is very inconsistent

  10. The best races last year were when we had some rain so hopefully we will have enough to make it interesting but not too much that they have to cancel the race.

    Can anyone tell me if in general holding the race at a later time of day increase or decreases the chance of rain during the race.

    1. The rain comes down hard between 4 and 5, thats normally the peak, and then your deal with the fall out between 5 and 7…thats usually the pattern. So, the it well may have already rained before the race starts, and still might be when we start.

      Or, it could be a blistering hot day!!!

  11. in singapore (near malaysia) and it has been raining very heavily over the past few days.

  12. i live in pj about 60km from sepang..currently the weather here has been hot (damn hot) in the mornings and afternoon then by 4pm heavy thundercloud starts to form and by 5 or 6pm the sky has fallen down..when it rains it pours, know what i mean?..6.30pm here on a normal day is still bright though the sun is quite low as dusk is about 7.15pm..so if it rains at around 5-6pm, then it could be a preview of a night race in sepang as it is dark when it rains heavily here..

    that said, i am 60km away from sepang and sepang’s weather could be different with wide open spaces and rolling hills afforded by the 10,000 hectares of the KL international airport of which the sepang circuit is just next door..

    i feel like peeing just thinking about it..hahaha

  13. Bigbadderboom
    30th March 2009, 15:37

    Heavy rain will really sort the those the can and the those that can’t, Fezzas didn’t like the rain befor slicks and KERS, I think Massa may need stabalizers :) .

    With those clouds though light maybe more of an issue than the rain.

    Really looking forward to this weekend. Interesting point though, will the rain level the cars performance, and will Lewis get another break and score some more?

  14. last time there was rain at Sepang it was a ferrari 1-2. but then they hat two rain masters in schumi and barichello. maybe rubens has an advantage this week, given brawn has a fast car.

  15. Thanks for the heads up ccolanto.

    Let’s see how the Brawn cars handle in the wet.

    It looks like KERS will be limited to the long straights only. No using it on the exits like Ferrari did in Oz.

  16. I am about 60K from Sepang. No rain today, possibly the first day in the past 2 weeks without heavy rain at race time, but it threatened to! One of my UK friends already dropped out!

  17. Toby Thwaites 93
    30th March 2009, 18:29

    BMW has tested in the rain with its 2009 car this season :)

  18. As if Button and Barrichello needed another advantage. ;) Both are outstanding wet racers.

    Hamilton will also be delighted to hear this.

    1. Sherman Tank
      31st March 2009, 10:06

      With no downforce on that Mcclaren i struggle to see how Hamilton will stay on the track, hes good but is he that good???

  19. Scott Joslin
    30th March 2009, 19:11

    What excites me is the concept of drivers managing damp conditions with slick tyres! It is a skill and will put emphasis on car control more now the drys are proper slicks!

    I am doing my rain dance now….!

    1. Toby Thwaites 93
      30th March 2009, 19:26

      wait, there are still grooved tires for the wet uno. Arnt there?

  20. schumacherthegreatestever
    30th March 2009, 19:24

    Wonder what odds i could get at the bookies on hamilton leading the championship after sepang……..

    1. Toby Thwaites 93
      30th March 2009, 19:28

      To be honest i think the wet conditions will not enhance Hamiltons performance but degrade it. Im confident that the rain will not be helpful to his rubbish Mclaren

    2. @Toby – I was thinking about that.The McLaren seems to have reasonable mechanical grip and balance but nowhere near enough downforce.

      I’d have thought downforce might not be quite as critical in the wet because cornering speeds would be lower due to much less mechanical grip.So cars would generate less downforce in wet conditions and thus the difference between a less efficient car like the McLaren and a more efficient car at generating downforce might be less.

      But this isn’t Monaco where teams run big wings because they are going too slowly most of the time to generate significant downforce , there are quite a few long turns needing good aero here , more so than Albert Park.I think Hamilton will do well if it rains but if it stays dry he’ll have a hard time in the McLaren having to drive about 10km/h slower in the long turns.

    3. Toby Thwaites 93
      31st March 2009, 21:45

      @ Francois – you have thought about this in much more depth than me and i have agree with you :)

  21. Weather is fine here this few days but is unpredictable. Once the rain storm come it will b nasty. Planning to go live at Sepang GP with some friends. Hopefully is a dry weather on race day.

  22. StrFerrari4Ever
    30th March 2009, 21:26

    Well this is awesome news rain not just rain thunderstorm going to be interesting to see who can keep control of their vehicles in those tough conditions i wonder if the Brawns will pull away? na i expect everyone to be so tight the small teams need to capitalise on this chance come on Toro Rosso :D the Vettel grid penalty doesnt seem to bad seeing how great he was in the rain in Monza

  23. I remember the same being said about Malaysia last year; it’s just too unpredictable in that part of the world to know until it happens.

    But on the other hand, the race starting at 5p.m. local time rather than 2p.m. should increase the chances of a downpour quite significantly.

  24. Hope it wont rain. Dry weather helps to understand which team/driver is where. Besides I think this time we dont need rain to have interesting race. This time it may be even quite boring if it rains cause the diffuser teams can dominate the race (more downforce – correct me if Im wrong about what that “half-legal” diffuser do to the car).

    1. Toby Thwaites 93
      31st March 2009, 21:53

      Half a second a lap at a track like melbourne according to redbull

  25. A wet race would be very interesting. The thing we have to remember is that the slicks compensate for the lower downforce in the DRY, but in the wet that is not the case. For this reason it will be MUCH more crucial to get the wet tires on and off the cars at the right time. If I remember correctly I think Toyota and BMW each had at least a day of running in wet conditions during preseason testing. Lets see if that gives them an advantage over some of the others. On the other hand Brawn seems to have a significant edge in downforce, which will only be exaggerated in the wet, and Jenson and Rubens are great in the rain. I think that Ferrari and McLaren will be in big trouble though, as they seemed to struggle greatly with rear end grip in Oz and rain will just make that worse, even for a pro like Hamilton.

  26. Grooved tyres are available for use in certain circumstances, I believe.

  27. 60K from the track, a friend about 20K from the track, No rain during race time today!

  28. today as usual it was a hot morning and afternoon but at 5pm – no rain. warm night now…perfect day for the race..hopefully on sunday it will be like this..but then again this Malaysian weather we’re talking about here..

  29. i’m around 20km from the circuit and it’s raining quite heavily now!!

  30. Kevin C, AlvinK, amhana and anyone else who’s in the region – How much light is there around the time the race will be starting and finishing? If it rains heavily, is visibility going to be a problem?

    1. Keith,
      There should not be a problem in terms of sun light during the race even at the end of it. It is still very bright. The concern would be the position of the sun which would be low and the glare would be a problem.
      If it rains heavily then it will be quite dark and surely visibility is limited…

  31. You wrothe that it was raining, but from the photos from practice 1 it looked dry and sunny.
    Are there clouds now and will it rain today and tomorrow? The Weather Channel suggests thunderstorms in the next four days…

  32. Hey Keith, if it start to rain it’s gonna b dark. Speeding at 200-350km/h, my guess visibilty is limited.

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