Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo and Romain Grosjean have reacted indifferently to the reconfigured final corner of the Sepang International Circuit as drivers struggled to find the correct line during free practice.
Following an entire track resurfacing since last year's Malaysian Grand Prix – which took place in April 2015 -, the inside kerb of the final corner has been extended by one metre, altering the camber to necessitate a different line than in previous years.
It is a change that has caught some drivers out during free practice, with a lack of grip on the inside line prompting lock-ups and making it difficult to find the line.
“There's a very wide apex so you are not really driving towards the kerb, kind of driving to the outside line which is kind of strange. The inside is not very grippy. Being that it is off-camber everyone is looking for different lines for sure. The outside one seems to be a little bit better, like a V, you go out and come back across.”
“The last corner, I'm not a big fan. It's very tricky to find a line, not very enjoyable to go through but the new asphalt is very good. It's a tricky one, we've seen a lot of locking, a lot of drivers straight and it's not easy to find the right line. I don't really like it, I prefer banking the other way where you get the grip and you can actually go fast in a corner.”
“It's not the most attractive corner on the F1 calendar, but it's challenging so I guess that's one positive side of it. If you take the inside it sort of washes you away with the negative banking, then you go around the outside but you're doing a lot more distance so it's trying to find a good compromise there, making it mistake free is probably the best solution. I wouldn't say it's a fun corner. I was going to do my personal best lap on the soft and the last corner I went off and nearly went into the pit-lane, so it's an important one, it's probably one where you can lose more than you can gain, so just be a little bit under it.”
"It's not normal. I prefer the old one. The car pulls to one side because of the amount of banking, which is huge. Normally you would do the whole lap laying on the rear tyres a lot and pushing like hell and suddenly you arrive to the last corner and everything that you had goes away. It's a bit of strange one, that's why I don't like it."
“The last corner they put some massive banking into it, but banking to the wrong direction so it's up on the inside and down on the outside which pushes you towards the outside. It's very interesting to drive and finding your way around it, it's not an easy thing, eventually it's like the middle of the track that has the best grip so nobody's trying to go on the inside.”
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