Located in Selangor in the south of Malaysia, the Sepang Circuit was the first in a new breed of circuit designed by F1 architect Hermann Tilke.

Yet, unlike many other of his creations, Sepang, which is now 15-years-old, has got a largely positive reputation from fans and drivers alike.

The track has not changed since its first race back in 1999 but it doesn't have to; the mix of long straights, low, medium and high-speed corners - accompanied by the heat and humidity of the Malaysian weather - test the reliability and characteristics of the cars and make it one of the more unique races on the calendar

Away from the tarmac, Sepang is a very attractive circuit to look at. The back-to-back canopy grandstands are one of the most famous sights in modern F1, while the circuit also features many grassy banked areas where spectators get a great view of the action on track.

There is some of the run-off areas that most modern track are known for but perhaps being the first modern-style circuit kept a few gravel traps at some tricky corners. This means drivers can not just attack the circuit knowing they can carry on if they make a mistake.

Before I go into more minute detail, I can't say all this without letting you see the circuit so check out the video of my man Daniel Ricciardo turning a lap from last year in the Toro Rosso.

As you can see from the on-board video there are a number of key corners around the Sepang circuit.

One of the best overtaking spots in F1 is into turn one. Braking from 185mph (300kph) down to just 50mph (80kph) makes it very easy for drivers to go too deep into this long hairpin and, if the driver is wide through here, turn two, which quickly follows, is also compromised.

A good exit from the slow left is also key as it leads onto a curving straight up into the slow right hander at turn four.

Into the technical part of the track now through the long left, right at turns five and six. These are all about how much downforce your car has, this year particularly expect plenty of oversteer through these corners as the rear tries to step out but then a good front end is needed for turns seven and eight.

This double apex right is effectively one corner and again if the driver runs wide at the first apex, they are off-line for the second part making them vulnerable on the straight to turn nine, this is also the area of track where most of the rain, that always threatens at Sepang, hits the circuit.

The fastest corners on the circuit are turns 12 and 13, the high-speed left heading downhill has been flat for F1 cars for a few years now but again, like turns five and six, lower downforce and more weight will make this corner particularly tricky this year.

Turn 13 is effectively a braking zone into the most important turn on the circuit, the slow right of turn 14.

The effect of turning while braking through turn 13 as well as the increased weight this year will make the apex at turn 14 harder than before but a good exit is essential as it leads onto the long back straight into another great overtaking spot, the final hairpin of turn 15.

As you can see Sepang offers more of a challenge than Melbourne's Albert Park thanks to the wide variety of corners. The tropical climate means temperatures can reach 60 degrees Celsius in the cockpit and the threat of thunderstorms always lingers especially since the later start time introduced in 2009.

The track is often underrated but has produced some of the better races in recent years. Now with all the challenges that will test the new V6-powered cars including the ludicrous heat that awaits, this year's race should be just as thrilling.

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