The Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix can’t get here soon enough for Daniil Kyvat.
Barring anything unfortunate, the race will be Kyvat’s actual first start with Red Bull Racing. The Russian failed to start the opener in Melbourne on March 15 after his No. 26 machine experienced a lack of oil pressure, causing his gearbox to overheat and preventing it from selecting a gear.
“It’s good Malaysia is so soon. After Australia, I wanted to leave the weekend behind me as soon as possible and start focusing on Malaysia,” Kyvat said in a release. “We have good potential which we will be looking to use and hope to extract. It’s an interesting, challenging track. There are some high speed sections, and those high speed sections are the most interesting ones. For me, Malaysia means a lot.”
Kyvat finished 10th in the 2014 edition of the Maylaysia Grand Prix, while driving for Scuderia Toro Rosso. While that was his first F1 start at the track, the 20-year-old Kyvat has a history with the 15-turn course.
“I won my first single-seater race ever there about five years ago I think, and last year, another points scoring race for me, my second race and second points so it (has) very good, good memories, but it’s a tough race and challenging race for a driver because it’s known for being so hot,” Kyvat said of the 56-lap race. Sunday’s forecast is for a high of 93 F/23 C with an 80 percent chance of precipitation.
“This is why we train quite hard and get our arses kicked during the winter season by our trainers!” Kyvat said. “Sepang is one of those races where you see where you are in terms of your physical preparation.”
Kyvatt’s Red Bull teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, compares the racing conditions in Sepang to being in a sauna you can’t get out of.
“Hydration is really, really important and keeps you cooler,” said Ricciardo, who has only finished one of his three Malaysian Grand Prix starts, finishing 12th in 2012. “The more hydrated you are, the more your body dispatches the heat.”
Red Bull Racing has won in Sepang three times, all with Sebastian Vettel, in 2010, 2011 and 2013.