McLaren remain confident that its race winning package can continue to impress in the second round of the new F1 season in Malaysia this weekend.

Last season's runners up believe their MP4-27 should suit the fast and flowing nature of the Sepang Circuit given the data interpreted from winter testing.

Lewis Hamilton, hoping to emulate his team-mate Jenson Button's Australian success, arrives at Sepang looking to secure his first Malaysian win in a bid to kick-start his title challenge.

However Hamilton, optimistic the humid conditions shouldn't be a problem for the MP4-27's cooling, does remain wary of the threat posed from the rest of the field.

"I think we go into the weekend feeling pretty optimistic because Sepang is quite a high-speed circuit and our car has usually gone well in the high-speed stuff during winter testing,'' Hamilton explained. ''Sepang will also be a test because of the high temperatures, but we've traditionally been able to manage the cooling on our car quite well, so I don't think that will be too much of a concern.

"Clearly, we're very encouraged by our pace, both in qualifying and in the race, and I'd like to think we can continue that at Malaysia this weekend.

"I think both Mercedes AMG and Red Bull Racing have performance up their sleeves, and they'll both be very fast in qualifying and the race. As far as Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is concerned, it's nice to be the hunted rather than the hunter, which has been the case in the past few seasons."

McLaren team principal, Martin Whitmarsh, makes no bones in expressing his team's joy after such a convincing start to the season, but like his driver, Whitmarsh points out that Malaysia will not be a one horse race.

"Everybody within Vodafone McLaren Mercedes was tremendously buoyed by our performance in Melbourne last weekend," Whitmarsh enthused. "As we all know, a Formula 1 winter is incredibly tense as it's almost impossible to know if the targets you've set internally will set the standard or leave you wanting.

"Happily, we were delighted to discover that MP4-27 has been successfully developed into a race-winning package - and that's a source of huge pleasure, and huge relief, for the whole team.

"Of course, nobody sits still in Formula 1 and we head to Malaysia mindful that we'll once again receive a stern challenge from our closest rivals - most notably Red Bull Racing and Mercedes AMG, both of whom will have points to prove this weekend."


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