Sepang preview: Hacksaws no longer required

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.

To continue reading this feature...

You must have an AUTOSPORT+ subscription. Prices start from just $1.50 per week and give you full unrestriced access to all news and features. View package options? Magazine subscriber?


from just $1.50 per week

  • Get unlimited access to AUTOSPORT with news and views from the paddock
  • Enjoy AUTOSPORT+: subscriber-only analysis, comment and top-quality pictures
  • Explore every F1 stat in the world’s best motorsport database

Pay as you go

Read this feature right now for just