Sam Michael, the Williams technical director, says the team are aiming for both drivers to qualify in the top ten this weekend at Sepang. “The team heads to Malaysia with the target of getting both drivers into Q3 and improving our position in the Constructors' Championship. Sepang is quite a different circuit to the two previous tracks we've visited in that it has a lot of high speed changes of direction.
“We will have some improvements on the FW32 for this race, mostly relating to the aerodynamics and we will also have some upgrades to help gearshifting. Both drivers will be working hard on our starts over the course of the weekend to get back to our usual standard. ”
Rubens Barrichello, who scored points in both Bahrain and Australia, is a fan of the track here. “I like Malaysia very much. Physically, it's one of the toughest races on the calendar and you have to go there expecting it to be really hot. One year I lost something like 1.3kg during the race. Because of the heat, you have to be well prepared, physically and mentally, but we all do a lot of training to make sure that we are.”
Nico Hulkenberg, who had his race in Melbourne ended by Kamui Kobayashi, is happy that Malaysia has come around so quickly. However, he is not particular enthusiastic about the Sepang circuit. “I obviously don't have experience of Sepang in an F1 car, but I raced there when I was competing in A1 GP so I know the circuit already which will be helpful. Melbourne was really frustrating for me so I'm happy that this is a back to back race and I can get back in the car again quickly. We'll be pushing hard to try to get a better result.
“Malaysia is not a favourite track of mine, but it's ok. Turns five and six are really quick, about 250km/h, so that part of the circuit is my favourite. It's going to be hot, but I spent a few weeks in Malaysia in January to do some training so I feel well prepared. I'm looking forward to getting there and to a good race.”