Drivers to face extensive track changes at Sepang

© WRI2

The Sepang International Circuit will present itself to drivers clean as a whistle following an extensive renovation which include altered corners and a new track surface.

The changes came about as organisers decided to improve drainage at the often monsoon-drenched venue, as well as iron out bumps in several areas  of the layout.

More than half of the corners have new kerbs while  the camber at Turn Nine has been altered, and, most significantly, Turn 15 has been re-profiled to make it slower, in an effort to encourage overtaking.

Sepang Circuit CEO Razlan Razali believes the extent of the changes will definitely leave drivers with the impression of "coming to Sepang circuit for the first time."

The modifications required a visit from FIA race director Charlie Whiting for homologations purposes.

"In a number of locations the levels of the track have been re-profiled to make the corners flow better or to improve drainage," Writing wrote in his report.

"This is high quality work. The works carried out to the circuit appeared excellent. The general condition of the installations was first class."

Pirelli's Paul Hembery is  taking a cautious approach to next weekend's race, as the resurfacing now provides an unknown to the manufacturer which will be bringing Soft, Medium and Hard tyres to Sepang.

"In terms of extreme conditions that provide a real test for the tyres, Malaysia is right up there with anything else we see all year," said Hembery, as he looked ahead to the event.

"[There are] extremely high temperatures as well as the high energy loadings through the fast corners. The big unknown for this year is the track surface, which is completely new.

"The weather can also change in an instant, turning the track into a monsoon. As a result of all that, Sepang tends to be quite a varied weekend where track evolution is hard to follow."

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