F1 Raceweek: The heat is on and there's a dinosaur in the paddock

The Formula One title tussle heads to Malaysia this weekend and there is plenty of interesting chat coming out of the paddock.

Malaysian Grand Prix   -  Getty Images

The drama of the Singapore Grand Prix may prove hard to match in Malaysia, but Sebastian Vettel's urgent need for a victory is sure to keep things interesting.

Lewis Hamilton profited from the remarkable first-lap drama at the Marina Bay Circuit which saw title rival Vettel's race ended following a collision involving Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

The Briton's march to the top of the podium was held up several times by a safety car in an action-packed race, but the Mercedes driver now leads the standings by 28 points.

As the teams prepare for the challenge in the searing heat of Sepang, we take a look at the talk emanating from the paddock ahead of the final Malaysian Grand Prix.

 

GASLY ON THE GAS

After Toro Rosso replaced Daniil Kvyat with Red Bull reserve driver Pierre Gasly, the GP2 champion is relishing the prospect of making his maiden F1 outing.

"I am not worried, I am excited about making my debut in Sepang this weekend," he said.

"I have worked hard to prepare for this and to get to F1. I am very happy to have this opportunity. I know it will be different to anything I've done before and the other drivers have been racing all season, so I will have a lot of things to get used to and learn about.

"It's a super challenge and I can't wait for it to start."

THE HEAT IS ON

Temperatures are set to soar in Sepang and that has got McLaren racing director Eric Boullier hot under the collar.

Fernando Alonso has been struggling all year with the power unit reliability issues that will see McLaren switch from Honda to Renault in 2018, but Boullier is at least confident the Spaniard himself will remain cool.

"There's no denying Sepang will be tough for us – both for our package and for our drivers – as we often see the hottest temperatures and highest humidity levels of the year," he said.

"Our two drivers are among the fittest on the grid, so I've no doubt they'll approach the weekend fully prepared as usual.

"The conditions present a pretty unique technical challenge for our engineers too, as we try to find the best compromise in terms of performance and cooling over the whole weekend."

 

WILL STEGOSAURUS HELP FORCE INDIA ROAR?

Force India caused a stir when they introduced a 'Stegosaurus' to the pit lane in Singapore.

Fear not, for this was no prehistoric beast, but rather the latest technological innovation in Formula One design.

The team's engine covers were adorned with more than 30 small fins, aimed at improving the airflow and increasing downforce.

What next – a Mercedes with a Megalosaurus on it? 

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