Hulkenberg expects tyre management to be ‘crucial’ at Sepang

©Sahara Force India

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg expects tyre management to play a “crucial” role in the outcome of this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix.

The Sepang International Circuit underwent major renovation works earlier this year, as the track was resurfaced, while several corners and kerbs were tweaked and the drainage system improved at a venue where rain often spices things up.

The facelift meant the Kuala Lumpur event was pushed from its usual April slot to a late September/early October date that might create further unpredictability.

“It feels strange to be going to Sepang at the end of the season, but it’s also a nice change to mix up the calendar,” Hulkenberg said.

“Most of the races I remember in Malaysia have seen crazy weather conditions, in April, with monsoon rain, red flags and aquaplaning everywhere. I am quite curious to see how it will change now that the race is in October.

“It's one of the hottest events of the year and the temperatures make it quite tough on tyre degradation.

“The tyres will be important here, managing them throughout the race is crucial and it’s an area we really concentrate on understanding with the engineers.”

Force India’s best Malaysian GP result is a pair of fifth-place finishes, courtesy of former driver Adrian Sutil in 2010 and Hulkenberg himself two years ago.

The former Le Mans 24 Hours winner hopes he can emulate this achievement with Force India currently involved in a close fight with Williams over P4 in the Constructors’ championship.

“It's a track where I have scored some good points and where I had a strong race in 2014, so I hope to go there and create some more special memories.”

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