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Hamilton turns the heat on Malaysian rivals

SEPANG, Malaysia — Lewis Hamilton will quite literally be feeling the heat as he goes into this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix as the clear favorite after his dominating performance in the opening round of the Fomula One world championship in Australia.

The searing temperatures in Melbourne were always a factor, but Sunday’s race at the Sepang Circuit on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur is the most physically demanding, not just because temperatures can hit 40 degrees centigrade but also due to the extreme humidity.

A driver can easily lose up to four liters of fluid during a race, which can result in loss of concentration and performance.

This year, the drivers have not been helped by the fact the first two grands prix are back to back, with little time to acclimatize in between.

For Malaysia, it is very difficult to prepare physically for the race, even more so this year, and you cannot begin to imagine how hot it gets in the car, said McLaren star Hamilton.

It was the hardest race I have ever competed in last year, even with all the preparation and trying to look after your energy beforehand, he added.

Conditions aside, the British star is confident of doubling up in Malaysia after taking the checkered flag at Albert Park.

The race at Melbourne was the perfect start to the season for me, added Hamilton.

The car felt fantastic, and I do feel we can go quicker, but Malaysia is a tough race.

We are going to Sepang aiming to get another great result, but it is likely to be hotter again so it will be a big challenge. There is not much we can do with the cars between Australia and Malaysia as there is so little time, but we will keep pushing hard.

While McLaren and Hamilton are prospering, Ferrari spent Thursday trying to deny rumors of unrest in the team after longtime boss Jean Todt resigned as chief executive following the Australian GP.

The team’s number two driver Felipe Massa was forced to deny reports that he would be replaced by Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Vettel.

I have a three-year contract in case you’ve forgotten, Massa said. I am comfortable inside the team.

Last race was not a fantastic weekend for the team, the drivers, our reliability. It’s not a case of one bad result and you change everything inside the team, added the Brazilian. E-mail to a friend

Hamilton turns the heat on Malaysian rivals – found here.

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March 20, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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