Of all the tracks on the Formula One calendar, this one offers the shortest drive from the paddock to the departure lounge at the nearest airport, Kuala Lumpur International. The Malaysian Grand Prix is the last event where half points were awarded.
It happened in 2009, when the race had to be stopped because of the deluge that hit the track. In 1963 the host nation adopted the name Malaysia instead of Malaya, its name when under British rule.
In Malay, the name of the country’s currency, “ringgit” means “jagged.” It initially referred to the rough edges of Spanish silver coins that were once circulated in the region.
The king cobra is the world’s longest venomous snake and the greatest number of king cobras in the world are found in Malaysia. Malaysia is the world’s leading producer of natural rubber.
Jean Eric Vergne:
It’s not one of my favourite tracks to be honest, as I don’t feel it has any particularly challenging characteristics. The best thing about this race is its unpredictable nature, because of the weather: you can start on Slicks and within a few laps, you need [may] Extreme Wets because of a heavy storm and that can be fun for a driver. The fans are very enthusiastic when we meet them at the autograph sessions and that is a nice feeling to realise there is so much support there. I have a happy memory of Sepang as it was here that I scored my first Formula One points.
“The second race of the season is also the first track that I have visited before. I took my first ever single-seater win here for BMW in 2010 and actually this is also where I drove my very first single-seater race, so I have plenty of memories of this circuit. It’s going to seem very different this time, because there’s a huge step from Formula BMW to Formula One. The track itself is quite interesting, while the heat and humidity make it unique in that respect. I am sure I can be more confident this weekend, after experiencing my first race weekend in Melbourne combined with the fact I know the track. I like Malaysia and did some touristy things when I was there, like going up the Petronas towers and going to some beach resorts.”
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