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Dry ice and forked lightning

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F1 Mole | 15:16 UK time, Saturday, 4 April 2009

Mole thought it was the Brits who were obsessed with talking about the weather.

But here in Malaysia it seems everyone is getting in on the act - and happily when it comes to matters meteorological the normal competitive instinct of the F1 paddock is put to one side.

Everyone, it seems, is happy to share tips on how to beat the heat.

Take Sebastian Vettel. The German driver has a novel technique for dealing with the oppressive conditions - he puts a bag with dry ice in his pants, "so at least they stay nice and cool".

Jenson Button celebrates in the paddockMole doesn't have access to anything as sophisticated as dry ice, so improvisation is the order of the day. Saturday's qualification took place in probably the toughest conditions of the week.

The BBC team was tested to the limits of their endurance. At times the production office resembled an outpost of the French foreign legion, as pit lane reporters, producers and pundits alike sought shelter from the broiling weather.

But just as everyone starts to get used to the heat, Sepang provides another twist.

Within minutes of beaming Jenson Button's pole position press conference, the sky suddenly turned black, the heavens opened and the paddock was scattered to the safety of the team rooms.

We were treated to a spectacular electrical storm of the kind that makes you wonder if the world is about to come to an end. Thankfully it didn't - we survived and it's now as hot as ever, all over again.

Mole isn't used to this kind of thing. Surrey it ain't.

And what to wear for race day? Perhaps a combination of skimpy briefs and sou'wester will do the trick...


  • 1. At 4:45pm on 04 Apr 2009, ShinyDavidHowell wrote:

    How much is this going to affect the cars? Obviously this is a test of driver endurance and adaptation, but are the vehicles particularly affected by these conditions, or is it 'only' an issue of drivers and tyres?

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  • 2. At 5:06pm on 04 Apr 2009, Paul_Murtagh wrote:

    Should we get both types of weather it could provide us with a memorable race - although if it rains as hard as it did after quali then a safety car could be needed. But a drying track could give us a clue to the new rainmaster is - remember the way Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher used to drive on slicks on a damp track

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  • 3. At 6:42pm on 04 Apr 2009, Riggadon wrote:

    I'm gonna stick my neck out and predict that Hamilton will do well at this GP. I dont know why I think that, probably because he always goes strong in the wet and he's due a break of some kind after the week he's had. I'll go for a Brawn 1-2, with Hamilton taking third.

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  • 4. At 06:01am on 05 Apr 2009, Underground_dan wrote:

    if the race involves significant rain then I fancy Vettel for the win, with RB second and althoguh it pains me to say it LH third. They are the best wet weather drivers of the current crop. Massa to come close to equally his 5 spins of Silverstone when it was wet there!!!

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