F1: Max Chilton using heat chamber to prepare for extreme conditions faced in the Malaysian Grand Prix

The Marussia driver returned to the UK after his 13th-place finish in Australia to undergo a series of training sessions in 33-degree heat

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Max Chilton has admitted to burning it up in training in a bid to prepare himself for this weekend's steamy encounter in Malaysia.

Following the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, many drivers opted to remain in a similar time zone ahead of this Sunday's race in Malaysia to ensure their bodies stayed acclimatised.

Chilton, however, stayed true to his roots and returned to the chilly United Kingdom, with temperatures 25 degrees cooler than in tropical Sepang.

But to ensure he would not be found wanting this weekend, Chilton underwent heat acclimation training at a specialised facility at St Mary's University in Twickenham that has been used by many athletes.

"I don't like being away for more than a couple of weeks if I have to be, so to spend a full seven days at home I thought was worth it," said Chilton with regard to the gap between the first two races.

"I got quite a few things done. I had a photo shoot, went for a heat chamber session to get ready for the conditions, so it was worth it."

Asked to expand on his training, Chilton added: "It's like a science lab, with part of it perspexed off in which they can adjust the heat.

"So you train in there for an hour and a half, cycling for 40 minutes and then a run for 30 to 40 depending on how I'm feeling.

"I did a session every week throughout the winter, but we upped the heat for this week because it is a pretty tough race.

"You can make it as hot as you can, but I put it up to 33 (degrees centigrade) because that is what it is going to be this weekend.

"As for the humidity, you would struggle to get it above 60 (per cent), so we had it up to 55.

"I trained in there for around 90 minutes, a bit less than a race distance because you are actually working harder in there than you do in the car.

"It is good, and you do lose a lot of weight, around 1.5 kilograms in the session, but 10 minutes later I've drunk a litre and put on a kilo, so it's not true weight loss, but it helps you tick over."

Around Melbourne's Albert Park, Chilton brought his Marussia home in 14th place, the 22-year-old later elevated to 13th following Daniel Ricciardo's disqualification in his Red Bull.

On reflection, it was a credible performance from the team and driver given the problems they have so far encountered in attempting to get on top of the new regulations.

"It was a satisfying result, but it was a far from a perfect weekend as we had our issues, as did other teams, but we did the best job we could," said Chilton.

"Although we had an issue at the start of the race, we then managed to do a full race distance, had good pace, crossing the line 14th.

"I then heard the news about Dan, and it was a shame for him as I like him, but it was good news for us as 13th has secured 10th (in the constructors' championship) for the last two years."