Trackside at Sepang – 2017 Malaysia Grand Prix

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Your trackside guide to the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) for the Malaysia Formula 1 Grand Prix. The “F1nale” takes place on September 29 – October 1, 2017

All photos © F1Destinations.com. The Editor attended the 2015 Malaysia Grand Prix and will also be attending this year.

Sadly, this will be the last Malaysia GP for the foreseeable future. The organizers have ended their F1 contract one year early and will concentrate on MotoGP. Even though Sepang is considered one of the driver’s favorites and remains one of the cheapest races on the calendar, it has never attracted strong local attendances, especially when compared to the night race in neighboring Singapore. Nevertheless, plenty of die hard fans will be sad to see Sepang leave the calendar. It’s an excellent circuit for trackside viewing, with great views from most vantage points.

Heat, humidity & rain!
The heat and humidity can be stifling, so dress appropriately. Wear light pants or shorts, and take along a spare shirt or T-shirt to change into later in the day. Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes and to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. Avoid spending too long in the sun, especially between 11am-3pm. Check the weather forecast and be prepared for rain!

Access & Orientation

  • Arriving on the transit bus from the airport (KLIA)? You will be dropped off in the parking area a few minutes walk from the circuit entrance, which is close to the Welcome Centre and K1 grandstand, and not far from the main grandstands and mall area. Read Getting There & Around for more information on how to get to Sepang.
  • If you hold a ticket for one of the other parts of the circuit (F Grandstand, Start Stand or C2 Hillstand for example), then we recommended taking the internal circuit shuttle bus to your gate, saving you a hot and sweaty walk. Buses run every 15 minutes over the weekend (get on near the Welcome Centre), but the service can be overcrowded and disorganized, particularly after qualifying and the race when there is a rush for the buses. There is also no rain shelter; you’ve been warned.
  • Driving to Sepang? Be sure to enter the car park area which corresponds to your ticket and entry point. There are around 18000 parking spaces at Sepang and parking tickets can be bought together with race tickets on the main Sepang website. They cost from 30 RM for 3 days (for spaces close to the C2 Hillstand) up to 100 RM for spaces closer to the main grandstands and mall area. Buy here.
  • Remember that it is forbidden to bring in any food or drink into the circuit.
  • Gates open at 08:00.

On-track action

The support schedule for the final F1 race in Malaysia is missing Formula 2 and GP3, but does benefit from the addition of FIA Formula 4 SEA, which should see some close racing from Asia’s next crop of F1 hopefuls. Believe it or not, but there will be six Formula 4 races over the course of the weekend! Two other series will also feature – Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and the Malaysia Championship Series for touring cars. Click here to view the full weekend timetable for the 2017 Malaysia GP.

Friday, September 29

  • 08:45-09:10: FIA Formula 4 SEA practice
  • 09:30-10:15: Porsche Carrera Cup practice
  • 11:00-12:30: Formula 1 free practice 1
  • 12:50-13:15: FIA Formula 4 SEA qualifying
  • 15:00-16:30: Formula 1 free practice 2
  • 17:00-17:30: FIA Formula 4 SEA race one
  • 17:50-18:20: Malaysia Championship Series practice

Saturday, September 30

  • 09:15-09:45: FIA Formula 4 SEA race two
  • 10:05-10:25: Malaysia Championship Series qualifying
  • 10:55-11:25: FIA Formula 4 SEA race three
  • 11:45-12:15: Malaysia Championship Series race one
  • 12:00-12:45: F1 Driver’s Fan Forum (mall area stage)
  • 12:35-13:05: FIA Formula 4 SEA race four
  • 14:00-15:00: Formula 1 free practice 3
  • 15:20-15:50: Porsche Carrera Cup qualifying
  • 17:00-18:00: Formula 1 qualifying

Sunday, October 1

  • 10:00-10:30: FIA Formula 4 SEA race five
  • 10:30-11:30: F1 Driver’s Autograph Session TBC (mall area stage)
  • 10:50-11:20: Malaysia Championship Series race two
  • 11:40-12:10: FIA Formula 4 SEA race six
  • 12:30-13:05: Porsche Carrera Cup race
  • 13:30-13:40: F1 driver’s track parade
  • 15:00-17:00: 2017 Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix (56 laps or 120 mins)
Make the most of Free Friday!
There’s free access to all grandstands on Friday, but you still need an entrance ticket for the event.  It’s worth checking out the Tower grandstand and some of the areas outside the mall area, especially the K1 and F grandstands and C2 hillstand (take the internal shuttle bus for the latter two areas). Check out some of the views below or read more in our Tickets guide, which includes our own pictures and videos from all main spectator areas at Sepang.
Fan’s Forum and Driver's Autograph Sessions
A Q&A session with the drivers has been added to the schedule this year (Saturday at midday). This will take place on the stage in the F1 Village or Mall area near the Main Grandstand. There’s also a driver’s autograph session scheduled for Sunday in the same place from 10:30-11:30 (though that is currently listed as TBC.) It’s also not guaranteed that all drivers will make an appearance or that you will get to the front of the queue.

Fan’s pitlane walk: This is reserved for holders of the new Premium Tribune tickets this year. Previously this was held on Friday evening around 18:30. Access is from the mall area behind the main grandstand (via underpass to the pits.)

Welcome Centre, Mall Area & F1 Village

The Welcome Centre at the entrance to Sepang serves as a focal point for many of the trackside attractions on offer at Sepang. As well as being housing a restaurant, gift shop and trade displays, it is also the entrance to the Mall area which separates the Main North and South Grandstands. Many fans make the F1 Village in the Mall area their hub for the weekend away from their grandstands. This is where the best food and drink, merchandise and sponsor stands can be found. There’s also a small stage, ferris wheel and mini fun fair. Access to the grandstand part of the mall area is restricted to ticket holders on Saturday and Sunday; however, we were able to pay a small bribe to get in near the end of the race and take part in the podium ceremony on the track!

Malaysia GP concerts

Don’t expect A-lister concerts like in Singapore or Abu Dhabi! The headliner act on race day has not yet been announced, but the rest of the concert schedule includes lots of local acts. There’s a small stage in the Mall Area and a bigger stage in the B Hillstand area. More details here.

Amenities

Food and drink options at Sepang are limited, but thankfully not as overpriced as at many other F1 circuits on the calendar. Water and other soft drinks cost around 5 RM ($1.20 USD) and most meals between 15-30 RM ($4-8 USD). The best food and drink stands are located in the Mall area between the North and South Grandstands, where there are around 15 different choices including Pizza Hut, KFC and a satay bar. The hamburgers and hot dogs are best avoided, as the food is pre-cooked and left to sit in the heat rather than being cooked to order.There are several bars with beers, though we expect higher prices this year with Heineken now having a deal for all trackside beers. If you are sitting in any of the spectator areas away from the Mall area (K1, K2, C1, C2, C3, F) then your options are limited to a food and beverage kiosk selling basic and unhealthy fast food fare, a drinks tent and icecreams. Consider a trip to the Mall area when you are getting hungry.

Don’t miss any of the action

All grandstands at Sepang have access to large TV screens. However, the screens are not large and not all grandstand seats get equal views. It’s worth taking along a pair of binoculars so you can read lap times and positions on the screen. There is also trackside broadcasting with commentary in English and Malaysian (also available on FM radio). If you are seated in one of the Hillstand areas which don’t have viewing screens, it’s even more important that you have a radio to listen to the trackside commentary. Alternatively, if you have got an internet enabled smart phone, it’s worth paying for the F1 App which will provides all the on-track info you will need.

Been to Sepang? Leave a comment with your trackside tips!

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Comments (1)

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  1. Jack says:

    Are we allowed to bring any food or drinks?

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