The second round of the 2006 championship was always going to be a test for the new V8 engines' durability. However, that test proved extra challenging in Malaysia, where the high temperatures and the demanding nature of the Sepang circuit meant the cars were already on the edge of reliability.
Bahrain, normally a weather-challenging race in itself, proved rather reliable for the teams and engines - which all the more put strain on the V8 engines that have arrived at steamy Sepang with half their lifespan already run.
Moreover, with the first two flyaway races taking place within a week, teams did not have the chance to test new parts, which means there was little development evident on the cars. Those changes that were seen in Sepang nonetheless, were either simple add-ons, or cooling related parts.
The controversy surrounding Ferrari's rear wing, which started in Bahrain, carried over into Sepang, and when television footage showed Ferrari's front wing flexing on the straights, the argument went into overdrive.