Photo: Force India F1 Team

Hulkenberg Believes Tire Management to Play a Major Role in Sepang

By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief

Nico Hulkenberg is expecting the tire management situation to make a big impact amid the hot temperatures that will be endured for this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix.

Usually on the schedule at the early part of the Formula 1 season in April, the Sepang International Circuit had its date moved to September to accommodate a major renovation, but the combination of track and date changes add a new and unknown element to the mix for drivers and teams.

“It feels strange to be going to Sepang at the end of the season, but it’s also a nice change to mix up the calendar,” the 29-year-old German admitted. “Most of the races I remember in Malaysia have seen crazy weather conditions, in April, with monsoon rain, red flags and aquaplaning everywhere. I am quite curious to see how it will change now that the race is in October.

“It’s one of the hottest events of the year and the temperatures make it quite tough on tire degradation. The tires will be important here, managing them throughout the race is crucial and it’s an area we really concentrate on understanding with the engineers.”

The Force India driver previously enjoyed a solid outing of fifth just two years prior and is hoping for a strong showing for not only himself, but his team, which is in the midst of battling for fourth with Williams in the Constructors’ championship.

“It’s a track where I have scored some good points and where I had a strong race in 2014, so I hope to go there and create some more special memories,” Hulkenberg said.

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Joey Barnes is the Founder of Motorsports Tribune. He has covered auto racing since 2013 that has spanned from Formula 1 to NASCAR, with coverage on IndyCar. Additionally, his work has appeared on Racer, and Autoweek magazine. In 2017, he was recognized with an award in Spot News Writing by the National Motorsports Press Association.

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