SEPANG’S FAST FURIOUS DAYS
Takes fans down the F1 memory lane
FADHLI ISHAK firstname.lastname@example.org however, was forced to retire due to gearbox issues 29 laps into the race.
Despite his lack of results with Minardi in 2001-2002, it was nevertheless a proud achievement for Malaysia and was seen as a step forward in the sport.
The huge finances required to compete have been a major barrier to seeing a second Malaysian race in F1. Fairuz Fauzy and more recently, Jazeman Jaafar, were both offered seats but were unable to proceed due to insufficient funding.
Malaysia’s well known tropical thunderstorms was televised to the world in 2009 when the race was forced to be red flagged after 33 laps as heavy rain caused a number of cars to lose control.
The race was not resumed and poleman Jensen Button took the win but was only awarded halfpoints, which at the time was only the fifth time it had happened in the history of F1.
Button, nevertheless, went on to win his only world championship title that year.
The Sepang circuit is also the venue at which Kimi Raikkonen (2003) won the first of 20 races and was also the last race won by Irvine (1999) and Giancarlo Fisichella (2006) before calling time on their F1 careers.
On a humorous note, Hamilton, having spent six seasons with McLaren from 2007-2012, wrongly entered his former team’s pit box during the Malaysian race in 2013. He only made the switch to Mercedes AMG Petronas that year and quickly apologised to his new team after the embarassing episode.
A group of nine Australian fans, apparently overjoyed by the victory of their countryman Daniel Ricciardo last year, took to the tarmac during the victory presentation clad only in their Jalur Gemilang briefs. They were later arrested for public indecency and for disrespecting the national flag.
Unfortunately, the introduction of the Singapore GP in 2008 as well as declining interest in the sport in general, which is often dominated by a small number of teams, saw the government make the decision to pull the plug on the event last year.
Malaysian fans should take this “priceless” opportunity to watch the F1 race at Sepang for the final time.
Ticket prices range from RM58.68 (K2 hillstand) to RM336.18 (main granstand) for MyKad holders, inclusive of GST.
The Formula One Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix is a home race for the Mercedes AMG Petronas.