More rain expected at Sepang

The F1 teams move from Australia to Malaysia for this weekend’s race but it looks like they won’t escape the rain.

Scattered thunderstorms are forecast throughout the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend.

As we saw last year and in 2001, these can be heavy enough to stop the race. Last year the combination of a heavy rain storm and the late race start time meant the race couldn’t be completed.

The Malaysian Grand Prix starts one hour earlier than it did last year, which should help it avoid the kind of thunderstorms which are common in the region in the early evening. The race starts at 4pm local time on Sunday, qualifying begins at 5pm the day before.

Along with the chance of rain the teams face the usual Malaysian weather – hot temperatures and punishing humidity. This creates problems for the drivers – who have to keep drinking throughout the race to replenish lost minerals – and the cars, which need extra vents for cooling and may need to keep out of the slipstream of rival cars.

Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-thirties throughout the race weekend.

Check the links below for more on this weekend’s weather in Sepang. If you’re in the area and can tell us what the weather’s like, please let us know in the comments:

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60 comments on More rain expected at Sepang

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  1. Most of the weather reports from Malaysia say late rain with a chance of thunder, fairly common phenomenon during their spring season. You’d have to imagine rain hitting at a late stage of the race, and hitting hard if the storms come in.

  2. Chris P said on 30th March 2010, 11:14

    Now there is a surprise!

  3. beanzoo said on 30th March 2010, 11:31

    the rain can make things interestin (but it hides f1′s problems) but i don’twant to c the race stopped again because of heavy rain. Having said that i think especially with tike’s super safe circuits (not a fan!) the dives should he made struggle on through the really bad conditions as they are supposed to be the best in the world!

  4. Arpi_ said on 30th March 2010, 11:42

    Does McLaren’s snorkel work in monsoon? Cos if it is, they will finish in 1-2.

  5. wong chin kong said on 30th March 2010, 11:48

    I live in Malaysia. In this inter-monsoon season, heavy rain with thunderstorms quite common in the early afternoon and can last until late evening. Local residents can tell whether it rains or not by just looking at cloud formation, no need weather man. When it pours, it really pours by bucketfuls. Sepang track poorly equipped for fast drainage of water. Button should revel in this climate as he did last year.

  6. Alex said on 30th March 2010, 11:57

    Rain is either a blessing (verstappen 2001) or a curse (2009 race). Let’s hope its a blessing.

  7. A track where Ferrari and RedBull will/should/could/can do well. But it will be another ‘thinking mans’ race IMO.

  8. BasCB said on 30th March 2010, 12:12

    So if rain is expected will we see Sutil, Button, Hamilton and Schumacher dicing it out with Vettel for the top places?
    Maybe the backmarkers can get somewhere as well. I remember Glock not being to bad in the rain as well.

    Lets just hope, that it does not rain like last year, that was a bit of a let down, 1 hour of waiting while FOM played theatre to keep everybody on screen not to lose audience.
    At least the start time is moved back, so it wont be dark that soon.

  9. “So if rain is expected will we see Sutil, Button, Hamilton and Schumacher dicing it out with Vettel for the top places?”

    Probably, but it’s certainly not limited to those drivers and they have qualifying to get through first.

    The RedBulls were certainly the fastest cars in the wet at last years race, despite Button managing to win it. But I wouldn’t be counting out the likes of Schumacher in a Mercedes just yet, wet or dry!

  10. steph said on 30th March 2010, 12:25

    Rain would be nice but I really don’t want red flags again but it would be worth it if the race turned out as chaotic as 09!

  11. Matt said on 30th March 2010, 12:29

    Rain always makes for an exciting race. If you want to make F1 more interesting, then all you have to do is make it mandatory for atleast 1 rain shower each race!

  12. Can anyone call when last time was boring rain race? I cant. So I really hope there will be a lot of rain this weekend. The best would be, if it is just a little bit less then last year, so race wont be stopped :)

    • DanThorn said on 30th March 2010, 13:50

      China last year wasn’t anything special, and neither was Fuji ’07. I dont think rain alone makes for an exciting race, its when it goes from dry to wet or vice versa.

      • Last China: 2 Safety cars, Trulli and Piquet (?) crash, Sutil retires 5 laps before finish from 6th, Fernando and Nico fighting from down, Webber’s Button’s fight…

      • Bertie said on 30th March 2010, 14:06

        Agreed, I think the best races tend to be ones that start wet; slowly dry only for it to rain again in the closing laps.

      • Ned Flanders said on 30th March 2010, 16:15

        DanThorn- What?! They were both amazing races. Even while the safety car was out at Fuji 07 there was more excitement than in the average dry race.

  13. PeterG said on 30th March 2010, 12:36

    Kubica and Rosberg are on the up.
    They could provide a nice change at the front.
    Rosberg drove well last year, Kubica is in good mood after 2nd place. All the top drivers, maybe apart from Massa, are pretty good in rain.

  14. There are many cars and drivers capable of winning in MaLaysia, particular if conditions are similar to Oz. This party hasn’t started yet!

  15. I was just wondering… If there is a dry Q3, and wet race, then TOP10 goes into pits fter first lap, and P11 becomes leader :D Am i right?

    • If it is a dry Q3 but a wet race the top 10 will just start with wet tyres, just like they started with inters in Australia, and if it is a wet qualifying and dry race they will be allowed to start on dry tyres.

    • Simon said on 30th March 2010, 14:20

      No, if it’s wet they are all permitted to change tyres on the grid, and the requirement to use two different compounds is dropped.

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