The Sepang circuit was the first of the new breed of Formula 1 tracks designed by Hermann Tilke and held its first F1 race in 1999. The organizers recently signed a new three-year that guarantees its future until at least 2018.
The purpose-built Sepang track is adjacent to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and approximately 60km south of the Malaysian capital. As well as Formula 1, Sepang also hosts a MotoGP race every October as well as other motorsport events throughout the year. From the outset, the organizers of the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix have had trouble attracting significant spectators to the event. The circuit has a capacity of approximately 130 000 fans, but race day attendances in recent years have hovered around the 80 000 mark (or 120 000 over the event’s 3 days). For 2016, the race moves from March to October and is now paired with the neighboring Singapore Grand Prix two weeks earlier. Time will tell whether this will benefit the Malaysian event.
The race has always been subsidized by the Malaysian government and in recent years the organizers have tried to attract more local fans by reducing ticket prices. Malaysia currently offers by far the cheapest tickets on the Formula 1 calendar, even without taking into account the generous early-bird discounts offered during the first few months of ticket sales. The circuit, which had been showing it’s age, has finally received some much needed investment in recent years. The owners installed a new membrane for the roof of the main grandstand complex to prevent leaks during heavy rain and resurfaced the track ahead of this year’s race.
Malaysia Grand Prix Facts
|Circuit Name / Type||Sepang / permanent|
|Race first held / Number of Races held||1999 (17)|
|Number of Turns||15|
|Race Distance||56 laps / 310.408 km|
|Lap Record||1:34.223, Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams), 2004|
|2015 result||1st Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1:41:05.793|
|2nd Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) + 8.569s|
|2nd Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) + 12.310s|
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