Malaysia preview – Toto: “A completely different challenge to what we saw in Melbourne last Sunday”

Malaysia preview – Toto: “A completely different challenge to what we saw in Melbourne last Sunday”

The second round of the new Formula One season, the 2013 PETRONAS Malaysia Grand Prix, takes place on Sunday 24 March at the Sepang International Circuit, just outside of Kuala Lumpur. The weekend marks the home race for PETRONAS, the title partner of the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team.

This weekend will mark the 60th race for the partnership between Mercedes-Benz and PETRONAS.

The Safety Car led nearly 15% of the race laps - eight in total - during last year's race. 40% of the corners - six of 15 in total - are taken at speeds over 200 km/h at Sepang.

For Ross, “the first race of the season provided some very encouraging signs for the team; our car performed well and seemed to be competitive in all of the conditions that the Melbourne weather gave us. However, we didn't quite find the correct balance for the race which compromised our ability to maximise the starting positions of Lewis and Nico.

With the second race in Malaysia following this weekend, we're looking forward to the opportunity to put that right. Malaysia is one of the most special races of the season for our team and it's a real honour to be celebrating the 15th anniversary of Formula One in the country with our title partner PETRONAS. We all hope to put on a good show this weekend for the Malaysian fans.”

“The challenge of Sepang will be completely different to what we saw in Melbourne last Sunday” says Toto. “Temperatures are guaranteed to be high and the circuit has many long, sweeping corners that demand consistent aerodynamic performance.

All the teams are in a learning process with the new Pirelli tyres, as we saw last weekend with drivers in the same team delivering very different results. Our car showed some good potential at times in Australia and both Lewis and Nico performed strongly in all conditions.

So our engineering focus is on improving the base performance and correcting our weaknesses, especially in terms of reliability. Of course, the PETRONAS Malaysia Grand Prix is also a home race for our MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS team and our long-term title partner.

They have supported this race, the sport and our team over many years and we are looking forward to a busy promotional schedule in the next days with the team and drivers. But for all of us, the most important thing is to deliver on the track on Sunday afternoon and that is what we are working hard to do.

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