During recent upgrades to the Sepang International Circuit, Dromo srl, the Italian racetrack design company, designed several improvements to corners, run offs and mix design. The most important modification to the track is the complete last corner upgrade.
"There will be some unknowns for the teams and drivers as we've changed the dynamics of the circuit a little bit at the various turns. It will be as if they've come to Sepang circuit for the first time," explained Razlan Razali - Sepang International Circuit CEO.
The works were inspected by Charlie Whiting, FIA F1 Race director, and the homologation report highlights that…"The entire track surface and the fast lane of the pits have been resurfaced to very high standards. In a number of locations the levels of the track have been re-profiled to make the corners flow better or to improve drainage. This is high quality work. The works carried out to the circuit appeared excellent" and "the general condition of the installations was first class."
The design was tailor made on the Sepang International Circuits needs and peculiarities. Upgrading a magnificent racetrack like that is never easy so only the drivers will be able to tell if the works are a success or not. The best efforts were used to improve the show, without touching the original layout.
The last corner modification is the best example. Raising up the internal curb of 1 meter, the classic racing line is not anymore the fastest, and this will add spice for the drivers. Now it will allow amazing overtaking manoeuvres due to the particular profile.
The full track will be different on tyres now. Almost all corners will be more demanding in terms of vertical load while the last corner will do the opposite, with his reverse camber and low speed, the grip will rely mainly on the tires.
So who will be the fastest Formula One driver to lap the upgraded Sepang International Circuit? Time will tell….