Hulk: ‘Hard to find right balance’ in Malaysia

Date published: September 23 2017

Nico Hulkenberg and Jolyon Palmer are both looking forward to the challenge ahead at the hot and humid Malaysian Grand Prix.

Nico Hulkenberg: “It’s one of the hottest Grands Prix of the year and we are tested and pushed to the limits. We have to drink a lot of fluids because we lose so much during the race. The track is challenging with lots of high speed corners and fast combinations. I enjoy going to Malaysia. The weather is always different to Europe and takes a bit of getting used to. When you fly there you can see the rainforest which is cool. Rhythm is important around Sepang and it’s a nice feeling when it goes right. Turn 1 goes on forever, it’s quite tricky to get right. It’s important to find a good flow and keep a good rhythm. The final sector is slightly slower and a bit more technical with long, sweeping corners. This year’s cars will mean some of these bends will be very, very quick. It’s always hard to find the right balance and tyre degradation is usually quite high. You need to be early on the throttle for both the back straight and then the start and finish straight.”

Jolyon Palmer: “It’s always nice and warm there and I tend to do well in these humid races; Malaysia last year, Singapore this year so I’m looking forward to it. It’s a cool track with a good atmosphere to match. It’s a flowing circuit with some long straights, fast corners and hard braking zones. We have a bit of confidence going there. The car keeps getting better, I’m certainly improving too so we’ll aim to get another good result. I raced in Sepang twice when I was in GP2 but for various reasons at the time I didn’t have any memorable finishes, although one year I came up to ninth from the back of the grid. Last year I got my first Formula 1 point; there are plenty of overtaking opportunities on the track so I’ll be looking to make the most of it and add some more points. Kuala Lumpur is a really cool city to explore and downtown you can visit the very modern areas with the big famous towers and then you have the more traditional areas and the markets. The city’s got a great vibe.”

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