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Malaysia GP 09, late start and weather.......


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#1 fuzz

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 09:25

I know this is a bit jumping the gun since the season actually hasn't started yet but I live in Kuala Lumpur and for the past few weeks from between 1600 and 1800 almost without fail there has been full-on tropical storm downpours. This is not unusual for the region of course but now that the GP this year is due to start at 1700 I'm going to predict a very interesting race....if we get one at all!! Incidentally does anyone known when was the last time a GP was canceled due to bad weather? (note canceled not shortened)

Personally I hope not as I've invested in some very expensive GP tickets :|

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#2 Gemini

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 09:32

So a chance for Mercedes to cross the finish line first... in form of Safety Car ;)

How long is the usual downpour in afternoon?

We had rain in Sepang before but it lasted very short time and then track was drying very quickly. Still when it rained, it rained big way indeed.

#3 stevvy1986

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:06

from memory the last time a race was cut short by the weather was australia 91 (though if you include races which were red flagged due to the weather and then restarted, japan 94)

any chance you can maybe give us updates during the week perhaps?it's always very handy to have upto date local knowledge :)

edit-i didnt read the last bit properly, i'm not aware of a race being cancelled due to weather as such before, but i know belgium once got cancelled because the track was breaking up because it was either too hot or too cold

#4 wingwalker

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:09

Yeah, I recall that from weather threads/section: rain was always predicted in Malaysia but it usually comes after the race ends... Well, probably not this time!

#5 stevvy1986

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:13

also worth remembering that qualifying is also scheduled to start at 5pm on the saturday, so theres every chance that could be affected too

#6 Muddie

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 11:09

Originally posted by wingwalker
Yeah, I recall that from weather threads/section: rain was always predicted in Malaysia but it usually comes after the race ends... Well, probably not this time!


Most years we've ended up driving home through torrential rain, usually starting the second we get to the car!

I arrived in KL on Monday, and I've been keeping an eye on the weather between 1700 and 1900, and most days it's been pretty dingy. It rained where I am once, but it's rained in other parts of the city at least twice. And in Malaysia, rain is only half the problem; even if it doesn't rain, it could get quite dark if at that time if there's a storm approaching.

Fingers crossed for the race!

#7 Youichi

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 11:10

Originally posted by stevvy1986
from memory the last time a race was cut short by the weather was australia 91 (though if you include races which were red flagged due to the weather and then restarted, japan 94)

any chance you can maybe give us updates during the week perhaps?it's always very handy to have upto date local knowledge :)

edit-i didnt read the last bit properly, i'm not aware of a race being cancelled due to weather as such before, but i know belgium once got cancelled because the track was breaking up because it was either too hot or too cold


Qualifying, in fact all Saturday running, was canceled due to a typhoon/huricane in Japan a few years ago, but the race took place as scheduled.

If the rain is that bad, they will just start behind the safety car for 20 odd laps, as in Japan 2007.

#8 stevvy1986

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 11:12

ah sorry yes, you're absolutely right, i guess because i was thinking of races rather than other sessions, thats why i forgot that, but you are correct

#9 Youichi

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 11:37

Originally posted by stevvy1986
ah sorry yes, you're absolutely right, i guess because i was thinking of races rather than other sessions, thats why i forgot that, but you are correct


Don't worry about it, I think your were quite correct with regard to races. The track breaking up was at Spa, and they had just resurfaced it, and then there was a heatwave on the GP weekend.

With regard to practice sessions, I recall several being cancelled at Spa over the years, due to Fog.

#10 jcbc3

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 12:32

Originally posted by Muddie


Most years we've ended up driving home through torrential rain, usually starting the second we get to the car!

I arrived in KL on Monday, and I've been keeping an eye on the weather between 1700 and 1900, and most days it's been pretty dingy. It rained where I am once, but it's rained in other parts of the city at least twice. And in Malaysia, rain is only half the problem; even if it doesn't rain, it could get quite dark if at that time if there's a storm approaching.

Fingers crossed for the race!


My fingers are crossed too. Hoping we do have a wet race. :clap:

#11 Frixos

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 12:34

Originally posted by jcbc3


My fingers are crossed too. Hoping we do have a wet race. :clap:



Makes two of us :)

#12 Muddie

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 13:34

Originally posted by jcbc3


My fingers are crossed too. Hoping we do have a wet race. :clap:


Would be awesome - just not too wet!;)

#13 Apollonius

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 17:06

Originally posted by stevvy1986
from memory the last time a race was cut short by the weather was australia 91 (though if you include races which were red flagged due to the weather and then restarted, japan 94)



Brazil 03?

#14 stevvy1986

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 17:12

that wasn't red flagged due to the weather though to be fair (nurburgring 07 was the last time a race was red flagged because of the weather, and obviously they then carried on with that race)

#15 Dalek Caan

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 17:24

Originally posted by jcbc3


My fingers are crossed too. Hoping we do have a wet race. :clap:


Would it make any difference to who finishes in the top 2? :lol: Rubens and Button are awesome in the wet.

#16 RV_Canada

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 17:41

Hey forgive the dumb question here, but I'm coming from Canada to see the race (Grandstand F).

What should I wear? I've heard that I would look out of place with shorts on, and perhaps be targetted more as a tourist.

Also n'thing the hope for a wet race.

#17 Muddie

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 21:31

Originally posted by RV_Canada
Hey forgive the dumb question here, but I'm coming from Canada to see the race (Grandstand F).

What should I wear? I've heard that I would look out of place with shorts on, and perhaps be targetted more as a tourist.

Also n'thing the hope for a wet race.


Shorts are fine - boardies are best because they breathe more in the heat and tend to be baggier. I don't think I've ever worn trousers to Sepang - it's just too hot!

Generally, I would recommend a loose-fitting short-sleaved t-shirt that covers your shoulders. Anything longer is too hot, but you'll want to cover your shoulders so you don't get burnt.

And loads of sun cream. I used to live in KL and never burnt the whole year round, except my annual Sepang-sunburn.

And a hat. And sunnies.

Also, not directly related to your question but advice for anyone going to Sepang: 100 Plus. It's an isotonic drink that most non-locals think tastes foul (at least until they get used to it) but it's about the best thing you can drink to rehydrate you.

#18 PassWind

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 21:52

Originally posted by RV_Canada
Hey forgive the dumb question here, but I'm coming from Canada to see the race (Grandstand F).

What should I wear? I've heard that I would look out of place with shorts on, and perhaps be targetted more as a tourist.

Also n'thing the hope for a wet race.



Big hat, loose light colored clothes and get out in the weather a bit before you go to the track, if your not used to high humidity locations you will dehydrate very quickly. The water in the air doesn't allow you to naturally cool yourself that effectively through sweating, so 32 degrees C can feel mid forties in bright sun with no wind. When it rains however, its superb. Then is sucks again an hour later. Eat when you hydrate, if you don't in that weather you will not effectively hydrate enough. Coming out of the Canadian winter is going to be a pretty big change.

#19 Nikos Spagnol

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 03:25

Never before a World Championship race was cancelled before it got started due to rain.

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#20 fuzz

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 01:00

Originally posted by Gemini

How long is the usual downpour in afternoon?


No more than 2 hours or so. But really torrential stuff only lasts for about 45 min. Main concern is that if they delay the start too long the the lack of light will be the issue.

#21 fuzz

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 01:03

Originally posted by stevvy1986


any chance you can maybe give us updates during the week perhaps?it's always very handy to have upto date local knowledge :)


Sure, will try and give you a tally of the weather from today onwards from around 1700-1900

#22 Kelateboy

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 02:37

It has been raining very very heavily in the last few days, especially in the late evening. Forget about driving F1 cars - I could hardly drive around on a 3-lane highway yesterday during the 1hr downpour because visibility was no more than a couple of meters.

Hopefully, it will stay dry this sunday. You don't want the GP to be decided on pure luck - and that is what's gonna be if it rains this sunday.

#23 raiseyourfistfor

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 03:03

If its very bad they will probably start behind the safety car and if it doesnt look like its getting any better / or it gets darker, they will probably award half points based on qualifying

#24 Muddie

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 03:45

Standing water would be an issue too. I was at the A1GP a few years ago and they just couldn't get it off the track. Was delayed and then started behind safety car, but would have been arguable whether they should have started at all.

If there was a big storm, safety of drivers and teams, but particularly marshalls and spectators would have to be called into question. High winds (quite often bringing down bits of trees) and lightning (particularly if there is standing water).

We do get the occasional day when it drizzles virtually all day, but those are very rare. Although not as rare as the hail storm a few years back, so don't discount anything!

#25 stevvy1986

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 11:06

Originally posted by raiseyourfistfor
If its very bad they will probably start behind the safety car and if it doesnt look like its getting any better / or it gets darker, they will probably award half points based on qualifying


If the race started behind the safety car, and it was so bad that they couldn't carry on, and they red flagged it and didnt restart, then i think it'd be half points based on the race order (which unless there were penalties, pitstops for whatever reason) would be the same as qualifying, but not entirely certain on if it'd be half points or not (if it was red flagged before 75% race distance)

#26 stevvy1986

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 11:06

Originally posted by fuzz


Sure, will try and give you a tally of the weather from today onwards from around 1700-1900


Many thanks :)

#27 stevvy1986

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 11:09

Originally posted by fuzz


No more than 2 hours or so. But really torrential stuff only lasts for about 45 min. Main concern is that if they delay the start too long the the lack of light will be the issue.


if australia is anything to go by, it looked like it was quite dark by about 7.15pm their time, and that was with a clear sky-if the start is delayed etc,or red flag is thrown, and they end up still racing at about 7pm malaysian time, with the clouds as well keeping the sun out, it could be hit and miss as to whether it'd be safe (if they were worried about it i guess they'd bring the safety car out and let them give race control an idea of how dark it is on track at drivers eye level)

#28 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 11:34

If one of these early evening tropical downpours hits the race it will get redflagged. Ive witnessed a few in nearby Thailand and the streets are under an inch of water almost immediately due to the sheer intensity of rain. I like a wet race but if that happens it will end the race for good or need a restart.

#29 kaivo

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 12:13

BGP dont have Wet track experience.
Toyota, BMW and Williams have lots of wet track laps.

#30 wingwalker

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 12:24

What are the current red flag rules? Race gets restarted behind a SC with positions from which lap?

#31 giltkid

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 12:24

Originally posted by kaivo
BGP dont have Wet track experience.
Toyota, BMW and Williams have lots of wet track laps.


Button, Rubens, Vettel and Hamilton are all good in the rain but Massa couldn't push a wheelbarrow through a puddle without falling over.

#32 Youichi

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 12:28

Originally posted by stevvy1986


if australia is anything to go by, it looked like it was quite dark by about 7.15pm their time, and that was with a clear sky-if the start is delayed etc,or red flag is thrown, and they end up still racing at about 7pm malaysian time, with the clouds as well keeping the sun out, it could be hit and miss as to whether it'd be safe (if they were worried about it i guess they'd bring the safety car out and let them give race control an idea of how dark it is on track at drivers eye level)


But Melboune is quite a bit further from the Equator than Sepang is, so doesn't the sun set later ?

Wanders off to shine a torch on a globe....

#33 stevvy1986

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 12:29

Originally posted by wingwalker
What are the current red flag rules? Race gets restarted behind a SC with positions from which lap?


If i'm right, if the race is red flagged with less than 75% of the race completed, then should they restart it, it'll be behind the SC, with positions as they were when the red flag came out and the cars line up on the start finish straight-the race is then restarted under the safety car, it goes round for 1 lap then comes in, and they go racing again.

#34 stevvy1986

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 12:31

Originally posted by Youichi


But Melboune is quite a bit further from the Equator than Sepang is, so doesn't the sun set later ?

Wanders off to shine a torch on a globe....


just looking at the sunset times, I think in australia the sun set at about 7.20pm local time, and that looks to be roughly when the sun sets in sepang this coming weekend as well (but again, australia was clear skies, so seemed brighter for longer, if clouds are around, that time will possibly come forward)

#35 kaivo

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 12:32

Yes but with new car its new thing.

#36 Muddie

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 12:48

Originally posted by stevvy1986


if australia is anything to go by, it looked like it was quite dark by about 7.15pm their time, and that was with a clear sky-if the start is delayed etc,or red flag is thrown, and they end up still racing at about 7pm malaysian time, with the clouds as well keeping the sun out, it could be hit and miss as to whether it'd be safe (if they were worried about it i guess they'd bring the safety car out and let them give race control an idea of how dark it is on track at drivers eye level)


Australia is pretty different because it's much further from the equator. Here, it's been going dark (ignoring cloud cover) just after seven, but "dusk" doesn't last much longer than a quarter of an hour. If there isn't any rain/approaching rain, I think it should be pretty light. Also because Sepang is more open, drivers should have less problems with changing light levels.

#37 djellison

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 12:52

Originally posted by RV_Canada

What should I wear?


One of these
http://www.notus-onl...sic_T_shirt.jpg

and one of these

http://neatorama.cac...ig-umbrella.jpg


Good luck!

#38 HoldenRT

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 13:41

If it rains it will be Fuji 07 conditions, but with no TC and reduced aerodynamics. You have to wonder if they will be able to race at all, once the rain starts.

Qualifying on Saturday will have the same problem.

It seems to be always cloudy at Sepang this time of year as well, by 6pm local time (when quali ends), it will give a good indication of what the second half of the race will be like.

What time do these afternoon downpours usually begin on average? 6-7pm?

#39 stevvy1986

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 15:08

weather update on the autosport live section up now

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#40 Muddie

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 15:49

I really wouldn't take weather forecasts for Malaysia too seriously. It'll be hot and it'll probably rain at some point in the day is generally about as precise as it gets.

Edit:

Looking at the forecast for today, bearing in mind it's nearly midnight: whilst it has been partly cloudy for most of the afternoon, the morning was clear with absolutely blazing sun and the evening (I think starting around seven, but I wasn't paying too much attention) was stormy with rain, high winds and lightning.

#41 D.M.N.

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 19:43

Does anyone have any friends/relatives that live in Kuala Lumpur? Be nice to get some indications on when about the showers tend to start. :up:

#42 Dalek Caan

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 19:56

All I know is the race doesn't start until 10am UK time, which is appalling for me as I leave for work at 9am! These later starts are ruining my schedule, and I suppose China will also be the same as Malaysia. Luckily I can watch the whole thing again on iPlayer, which wouldn't have been possible last year. :up:

The rain and light situation is gonna make this race fascinating. Kubica has said that he expects it to rain heavily, and I agree with him. The race may begin and end behind a safety car.

#43 Anomnader

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 19:58

Originally posted by D.M.N.
Does anyone have any friends/relatives that live in Kuala Lumpur? Be nice to get some indications on when about the showers tend to start. :up:


We have a branch of our office in KL and a dev guy that worked in the UK has just gone out there, so nearer the end of the week I'm going to be emailing him for weather reports.

#44 inca_roads

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 22:06

I remember an onboard from Trulli, the infamous Malaysia 2001 race as it started to rain. It was insane, it's pretty dry as he starts coming down the back straight, and by the time he's half way down it's absolutely soaked. Trulli procedes to shoot straight off as soon as he touches the brakes, and you can see DC in the background suffering a similar fate.

So it'll be... erm, interesting if there's a recurrence of that.

#45 BartSimpson

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 23:05

It has rained every single day for the last few weeks from memory. Drove within a couple of miles of the track yesterday on the way home from work at aroung 1755 local and it was pouring. Was definitely struggling to keep my car on the road.

#46 paulm

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 23:52

When I was in Malaysia for the 2006 GP it rained like clockwork every day in the late afternoon/early evening for the entire week I was there. It started and stopped as if controlled by a tap, nothing, then a deluge for 30 mins to an hour, then nothing again.

Was the perfect time to ensconce oneself in a bar and order a jug of beer but an awful time for Formula 1 racing I'd have thought.

#47 stevvy1986

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 00:14

Originally posted by Dalek Caan
All I know is the race doesn't start until 10am UK time, which is appalling for me as I leave for work at 9am! These later starts are ruining my schedule, and I suppose China will also be the same as Malaysia.


China starts 8am UK time

#48 fuzz

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 01:00

Monday 30th - approx 1730 torrential rain until approx 1815. Then it was light rain until about 2000

I was approx 10 miles north of the circuit at the time. I suppose that's the real problem with the weather here is that most of these cloud bursts are quite localized and the circuit could have been bone dry during that period (I doubt it though because there were a lot of cells around)

#49 jeze

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 09:58

Is the visibility allright throughout the whole race, given that the sunset for Singapore in September is so early? Different seasons it may well be, but I'm concerned. I think a night race for Malaysia would be the best idea in the future.

#50 giltkid

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 10:16

Originally posted by BartSimpson
It has rained every single day for the last few weeks from memory. Drove within a couple of miles of the track yesterday on the way home from work at aroung 1755 local and it was pouring. Was definitely struggling to keep my car on the road.


Is that you Felipe?