Sepang preview: Hacksaws no longer required
Malaysia's intense heat and humidity have always presented a challenge for Formula 1's teams, but as top Williams engineer Mark Gillan points out, the days of cutting out crude cooling aids from the bodywork have long gone...
The second you disembark from the plane in Kuala Lumpur, the heat and humidity envelops you and makes you yearn for a cooling breeze. In this climate, even taking a stroll along the beach can bring on a sweat. You can only imagine the kind of toll that it takes on the drivers and cars during the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend.
The conditions are a tough test of the machinery, yet in recent years the number of car-related retirements at Sepang hasn't been significantly out of kilter with what you'd expect from the average early-season race. There was a time when some teams would have no choice but to make ad hoc changes to the car to aid cooling. Although the conditions are a real test of the car, the days of bodging together a fix are long gone, as Williams chief operations engineer Mark Gillan explains.
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