In recent years, as soon as the Australian Grand Prix was over, all the teams flew straight to Kuala Lumpur to start working in the intense heat and humidity of the Sepang circuit. The Malaysian Grand Prix weekend would get underway immediately after the Melbourne season opener, with the second race taking place just one week later. This year, that’s all changed with a two week break in between, which means the teams have got some time to evaluate what happened in Melbourne and try and develop their cars a bit more for Round 2. Time is a very valuable commodity with the new regulations providing plenty of challenges.
It means the Scuderia Toro Rosso crew is scattered around the world, with some engineers having returned home to find that springtime has finally arrived in Faenza. Other team personnel with families have also chosen to make a brief return to the Old Continent, while much of the team has stayed out on leave in either Australia or Thailand. An advance guard will start preparing the garages in Sepang this weekend and then, at the start of next week, the entire team will reassemble in Sepang, ready to do battle again.
As for the drivers, Jev has been keeping in touch with his engineers by phone, keen to find out what’s in store in Malaysia, while Daniil has been back in the UK using the simulator today. The first item on the Russian’s agenda is going over some of the Albert Park data, before moving on to the Malaysian track. He won’t be able to experience the heat and humidity, but he will be able to work on car set-up as well as looking at routines linked to the new technology, such as recharging the batteries and getting a general feel for how the new power unit will work at this track, which features very different characteristics to Melbourne: high speeds, long straights and a second race for the new engines in very high ambient temperatures will provide a stern test for all eleven teams.