Header Ads

Hamilton 'sad' to lose challenge of Malaysian GP from F1 calendar

SEPANG, Malaysia -- Lewis Hamilton says Formula One will lose one of its toughest physical challenges when the Malaysian Grand Prix drops off the calendar next year.

This weekend's race at Sepang will be the last F1 race at the circuit after the Malaysian government decided not to renew the contract beyond the end of 2017. The race, which takes place on a high-speed circuit in temperatures that are usually above 30C, is one of the toughest on the calendar for drivers and Hamilton says he will miss that challenge.

Lewis Hamilton. Mark Thompson/Getty Images
"It is definitely sad to think this is the last race because it is such an epic grand prix in terms of a physical challenge," he said at a press conference ahead of the race weekend. "It's the most challenging for the car and the team, so they are taking away one of the toughest, if not the toughest, grand prix of the season, which will be hard to replace."

The temperature inside the cockpit gets close to 50C in Malaysia and drivers lose three litres of body fluid in sweat over a 90-minute race -- which is equal to five percent of their overall body weight. The cars are fitted with drinks systems, but they are prone to failure, leaving the drivers at a potential performance disadvantage.

"Racing in Malaysia, it's like being in a mild sauna," Hamilton's Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas said. "We have all of our gear on -- plus the helmet -- and the car is hot as well. The seat itself is warm, and then we're surrounded in the cockpit by the electrical boxes. It gets really hot.

"One of the main things is to keep hydrated. If you dip just once with your hydration, it takes a long time to get back on track. We have to drink lots of water as well as sports drinks containing electrolytes to keep the levels at the right place. You absolutely need to make sure you're well hydrated."

The Malaysian Grand Prix has been on the calendar since 1999 and it was one of the first of the modern-generation, Hermann Tilke-designed F1 circuits. However, the return of the French and German Grands Prix next year means the total number of races will increase to 21 in 2018.

Author: Laurence Edmondson, ESPN UK
Source: http://www.espn.co.uk/f1/story/_/id/20832693/lewis-hamilton-sad-lose-challenge-malaysian-gp-f1-calendar

No comments

Powered by Blogger.