Fernando Alonso is relishing the prospect of a fresh challenge set by the resurfaced Sepang International Circuit as he looks to hold on to recent momentum from improving results.
The McLaren-Honda driver, a three-time Malaysian Grand Prix winner, will take on an 'all-new feel' of the Sepang track after it was resurfaced earlier this year, with a number of corners being altered as part of circuit improvements.
READ: Sepang resurfacing 'like coming to circuit for the first time'
The F1 drivers and teams have been briefed on the changes but won't be able to get a full understanding of the track updates until Friday morning in FP1. Heading back to a circuit which holds fond memories for Alonso he is interested to see how his McLaren MP4-31 performs.
“I'm looking forward to heading back to Malaysia after 18 months since the last race there,” Alonso said. “It'll be interesting to see how the cars cope on the newly-resurfaced track, and I imagine the weather conditions will be different from our last visit.
“Still, we expect it to be a tough race in the heat and humidity, but there's a good combination of slow and high-speed corners and fast straights, so it has a little bit of everything.”
With three seventh place finishes in the past five races Alonso has risen to 11th in the drivers' championship and despite McLaren's widely-reported performance deficit the Spaniard is just five points off of Williams' Felipe Massa.
“I've won this race three times before so I have happy memories, and we'll be aiming to continue the momentum from the past couple of races and get a strong result there again this year.”
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