A lap of Sepang with Rubens Barrichello 05 Apr 2007
As Hondas Rubens Barrichello prepares for the second Grand Prix of the season in Malaysia, the Brazilian talks us round a flying lap of Kuala Lumpurs Sepang International Circuit
Note - to view a map of the circuit, click here.
"The Sepang International Circuit is one that the drivers really enjoy. When you go past your pit board on the start/finish straight, you are at 250km/h and about to reach 300km/h before the braking zone at the end of the straight. Turn One is a very slow corner taken in first or second gear depending on your gear ratios. You will see plenty of action here in the race because it is a very wide track but quite tight for the racing line so the drivers go all over the track trying to overtake.
Turn One leads into another tight left-hand corner taken in second gear, power down and then a long right-hander at Turn Three which is about two and a half Gs. When you come out of Turn Three, it is flat up through the gears to seventh reaching around 270km/h before the next braking zone into the right-handed Turn Four, taken in second or third gear depending on the ratios. It's not a difficult corner although braking can be tricky because of the bumps. Out of there and you're into a lovely left and right at Turns Five and Six which are done very quickly in fifth gear. It's really demanding around this section as the Gs force your neck from one side to the other. We used to be almost flat through here but perhaps not this year with the different spec tyres.
You then have a small straight before the two apex corners at Turns Seven and Eight. You have to come in quite fast, wide and then tight and an understeering car could cause you some problems. Then you're onto the first back straight going into the hairpin at Turn Nine in first gear. It's important to have good traction out of here as it goes straightaway to the right and Turn 10 which is not really a big corner but leads you into Turn 11, another right-hander taken in third gear at around 130km/h. Then another straight and a fast left-hander at Turn 12 taken flat out in sixth gear at 250km/h.
Turn 13 leads you into the tight Turn 14 and onto the long back straight, a good place for overtaking. The final corner at Turn 15 is another overtaking opportunity, a second-gear corner which brings you onto the start/finish straight and over the line for the end of your lap."