Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello may have recorded a dream 1-2 result on Brawn GP's Formula One debut in Melbourne last Sunday, but no-one is under any illusion that this weekend's second round in Malaysia will be easy.
Indeed, any follow-up to Australia would be tough for the Brackley team, but the extra demands placed on all elements of the package by the heat and humidity of Sepang are weighing heavily on the mind. The entire team headed straight to Malaysia after the celebrations in Melbourne had died down, determined to acclimatise for the longest time possible, but the 56-lap race remains one of the toughest on the calendar, and the later start to the campaign will only add to the complications all ten teams may face this weekend.
"After the amazing weekend that we experienced in Melbourne, the whole team was keen to get to Malaysia and start racing again," racewinner Jenson Button revealed, "However, the Malaysian Grand Prix is always one of the toughest races of the season and it will be a real challenge for our new car with so little testing under our belts.
"Malaysia has a really hot and humid climate, which really tests the car's durability and, coupled with the frequent torrential downpours, can make for an unpredictable race weekend. It's a tough place for the drivers as the heat in the cockpit can be unbearable and tests the limit of your fitness and concentration, and you have to work
hard to find a good balance for the car as it can be challenging for the tyres to work well for the whole lap."
While Button looks forward to returning to the circuit that presented him with his first F1 podium, with BAR back in 2004, team principal Ross Brawn admits that the opening day on track could be crucial to the chances of repeating the report from Melbourne.
"The Australian Grand Prix weekend was a fantastic experience for our team and the one-two result for Jenson and Rubens went beyond our hopes and expectations for our very first race," he admitted, "However, we know that our competitors will not stand still, and that the challenge will become ever more difficult from here. Despite that, I am sure that we can rise to that challenge.
"We have a very good and stable car which should go well around the Sepang circuit. As in Australia, though, we will need to maximise the practice running that we have on Friday to develop the set-up, as we will be faced with the usual reliability concerns caused by the high temperatures that we expect in Malaysia."