Toro Rosso rookies Carlos Sainz Jr and Max Verstappen look to build on their solid F1 debut as they prepare to take on the challenge of racing in sweltering conditions around the Sepang International Circuit.
The Spaniard scored his maiden championship points in Melbourne’s season opener by securing ninth and could even have secured a bigger tally but for a lengthy pit that cost Sainz plenty of time.
Team-mate Verstappen was on course to become the youngest F1 point scorer at the Albert Park Circuit when his efforts were curtailed because of an ICE issue.
Although the 17-year-old Dutchman has never competed at Sepang, he remembers accompanying his father Jos when the latter was still on the F1 grid and already quite likes the layout of the Malaysian venue.
“I’ve been there once before, when I my dad was racing there,” said Verstappen. “I’ve watched a lot of videos of him racing at Sepang and the track looks really cool. I know it’s going to be a hot and sweaty weekend, but I’ve done some heat training which went very well and I believe that will pay off when I actually go there.”
Unlike Verstappen, reigning Formula Renault 3.5 Series Champion Sainz has already sampled the Sepang International Circuit and keeps fond memories of the track.
“I’ve been to Malaysia before and I like the country. I raced there in Formula BMW, which was also my first ever race in a single-seater. I came second, so I have memories of a really nice weekend.
“I went back a couple more times for races there. I remember that it’s very warm and humid at the time of year we will be there, which makes it tough for the drivers, so I will be looking to this weekend as a really good test of my physical condition for the rest of the season. It’s going to be an interesting weekend.”
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