Where to sit and where to watch the action at Sepang for the Malaysia Formula 1 Grand Prix outside Kuala Lumpur on September 30 to October 2, 2016. The lowdown on the best grandstands and viewing areas.
All images © F1Destinations.com. The Editor attended the 2015 Malaysia Grand Prix and checked out the views from all the grandstands and hillstands.
The Malaysia Grand Prix moves to a late-season slot in 2016, back to back with neighboring Singapore two week earlier. Tickets for this year’s race went on sale at the end of January 2016. Prices are approximately 6% higher across the board than in 2015, but are still the cheapest tickets on the current F1 calendar (see our 2016 ticket prices ranking). The attractive 50% ‘super early-bird’ discount only applied until February 15. A second ‘early bird’ discount period, with most tickets discounted by 20% applies until May 31. (extended from April 18). We recommend buying your Malaysia Grand Prix tickets via BookF1, Gootickets or GPTicketshop.
2016 Malaysia Grand Prix Ticket Prices
|Ticket Type||Discounted Price ($USD)||Regular Price ($USD)|
|VIP Tribune (Emerald)||2085 RM ($515)||2460 RM ($605)|
|Sapphire - Main Grandstand||1500 RM ($370)||1875 RM ($460)|
|Emerald - Main Grandstand||1500 RM ($370)||1875 RM ($460)|
|Ruby - Main Grandstand||1130 RM ($280)||1410 RM ($350)|
|Crystal - Main Grandstand||1035 RM ($255)||1295 RM ($320)|
|Turquoise - Main Grandstand||755 RM ($185)||945 RM ($235)|
|Jade - Main Grandstand||755 RM ($185)||945 RM ($235)|
|Garnet - Main Grandstand||570 RM ($140)||710 RM ($175)|
|Topaz - Main Grandstand||485 RM ($120)||605 RM ($150)|
|Citrine - Main Grandstand||290 RM ($70)||360 RM ($90)|
|Tower - Main Grandstand||375 RM ($95)||465 RM ($115)|
|Grandstand K1||560 RM ($140)||700 RM ($175)|
|Grandstand F||240 RM ($60)||295 RM ($75)|
|Star Stand (new for 2016)||150 RM ($37)||185 RM ($45)|
|C2 Hillstand Covered||135 RM ($33)||170 RM ($40)|
Sepang also offers some the best viewing opportunities of any circuit. Most grandstands give you the chance to see multiple corners. Malaysia also offers ‘Free Friday’, which means you are free to check out all the grandstands and spectator areas of the Sepang circuit on the first day of the event. All grandstands have access to viewing screens, though they are pretty small and distant; bring along binoculars to guarantee yourself a good view. In addition, whilst all stands are covered, not all seats benefit from shade and rain protection for the whole day, so keep this in mind when you are packing for the day.
Our Top 5 Sepang F1 Tickets
The majority of grandstands at Sepang are located in the Main Grandstand, which seats up to 30,000 fans. Away from this area is the popular K1 grandstand on the opening corner and the excellent, though isolated, Grandstand F on the opposite side of the circuit. Call us cheap, but we don’t think you need to buy the more expensive upper tier pit straight tickets at Sepang to get the best viewing experience. We sat in K1 grandstand last year, which is always popular. If you do want to have views of the pits, then we would go for Sapphire (closer to turn 1). The south facing sections of the Main grandstand are also worth considering, as is Grandstand F (though it’s isolated). On a budget? The C2 hillstand is the way to go.
1. K1 Grandstand
2. Tower Grandstand
3. Topaz/Citrine Grandstands
4. Sapphire Grandstand
5. F Grandstand
2016 Sepang F1 seating map
Click the map above to open in a new window. Map courtesy Sepang Circuit.
In terms of bang for your buck, it doesn’t get much better than Grandstand F. Situated on the Eastern central section of the track, the cheapest grandstand in Sepang offers views of more than 50% of the lap, including turns 5 through to 8, the final hairpin bend and the main straight. The downside of the F Grandstand is that it is isolated. It’s a long way from the entrance and fan zone where the best atmosphere is found.
Situated at the end of the main straight and with a view of turns 1 and 2, the affordable K1 grandstand is also a smart choice for fans wanting to see plenty of on-track action at Sepang. We recommend choosing seats high up in Block 1 which provide a front-on view of the main straight, pits and pit exit as well as the opening corners. Another reason why K1 is a good choice is its location, close to the main entrance circuit and mall area.
The majority of Sepang seating is located in the Main Grandstand complex, which comprises two tiers and can accommodate up to 30 000 fans. There are three main sections:
- North facing grandstands, with views of the start/finish straight, pits complex and Northern section of the track. All seating in this grandstand is numbered.
- South facing grandstands, with views of most of the Southern half of the track. The upper tier is numbered, whilst the lower tier offers free (unallocated) seating.
- Tower section, situated on the final hairpin bend between the back straight and the pit straight. There is no numbered seating in the Tower.
Both North and South sections of the Main Grandstand complex are divided into two tiers. The more expensive seats are located on the smaller upper tier and offer better viewing opportunities. The lower tier seats are on average around half the price of equivalent upper tear seats, as the views are less panoramic and partly obscured by the catch fencing.
Sapphire (Upper) & Turquoise (Lower) Grandstands
These grandstands are sitauted at the western end of the Main Grandstand and provide a great view of the first corner, where there is always lots of overtaking. Also good for some pit action (being opposite pit numbers 19-30) and the pit exit.
Emerald (Upper) & Jade (Lower) Grandstands
Emerald (upper tier) and Jade (lower tier) are located on the pit straight ahead after the start-finish line and with a view of pit numbers 7-18, which are normally used by the midfield teams. Good for pit action, the race start/finish and podium celebrations, but with little in the way of on-track action otherwise.
Diamond (Upper) & Crystal (Lower) Grandstands
The Diamond and Crystal grandstands are located opposite the start-finish line and pits 1 to 7, where the top teams are located. A great spot to watch the pre-race preparation, start, finish and podium ceremony. If on-track action is more important to you, then save yourself some money and look at alternative grandstands (such as K1, F or Topaz)
Ruby (Upper Tier) & Garnet (Lower Tier) Grandstands
Ruby and Garnet are the cheapest upper and lower tier grandstands in the north part of the Main Grandstand. Located at the eastern end of the pit straight, these grandstands don’t offer a view of the pits, but you can see Turn 5, as well as the pit entrance. The last few cars also line up on the grid for the race in front of these grandstands.
There are four different seating sections in the distinctive Tower section of the Main Grandstand, which is located on the final corner of the circuit. All the seating in the Tower section is unallocated. If you don’t need your own seat, the Tower is a great deal, as you can check out panoramic views of different parts of the circuit. This is a good mid-range grandstand choice at Sepang.
Topaz (Upper) & Citrine (Lower) Grandstands
There’s only two grandstands on the southern half of the main grandstand, Topaz on the upper tier and Citrine on the lower tier. Both offer panoramic views of the southern half of the Sepang Circuit, from turn 8 all the way to the final turn 13 hairpin.. The Citrine zone, on the Lower Tier of the Southern Grandstand, has unallocated seating and doesn’t offer such a good panoramic view of the Southern half of the circuit. This fact is reflected in the cheaper ticket price. Topaz tickets are significantly cheaper than tickets in the northern section of the Main Grandstand, yet offer a fantastic panoramic view over half the track.
Hillstand (General Admission) Tickets
Hillstand tickets are the cheapest at Sepang; there are six large, open, raised areas around the track (one of which – C2 – is partly covered) that provide a great viewing experience for budget conscious fans. Most Hillstand tickets are reserved for local fans, but two sections are available for general purchase. The Star stand – new for 2016 – is located next to turns 13 and 14 on the southern section of the track, not too far from the mall area.
In our opinion, the best hillstand section is C2, which offers views over much of the southern half of the circuit, especially turns 9 to 11. There also excellent panoramic views of the final turn and tower complex. It also offers protection from the rain and sun, which is very important consideration in the tropical heat of Malaysia. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to bring along a hat, sunscreen, rain jacket, umbrella, plus a folding chair or something to sit on. The C2 area is pretty big and even on race day, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a good spot to watch the action. We also recommend making the effort to visit C2 on Friday to take in the elevated views of the circuit.
VIP & Hospitality Tickets
Sepang offers several VIP tickets, which can be bought from BookF1:
- Emerald VIP package: this affordable package includes a seat in the Emerald grandstand, bus transfers for the event from central KL to the track and a compimentary lunch on Saturday and Sunday. From $518 USD.
- Platinum Suite: overlooking the pit straight with all day catering and unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. From $1817 for Saturday and Sunday.
- Paddock Club: the best VIP package on offer includes viewing from the top of the pits, full catering including open bar and pit lane walkabouts. From $4350 for Saturday-Sunday to $4800 for full weekend access.
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