The Malaysian Grand Prix may be the hottest and most humid on the calendar, but for us, it’s a place where a shiver of excitement runs down our collective spines. It was in Sepang last season where we started the ball rolling in our successful pursuit of two championship titles.
Frustrations in the opening two races were forgotten as Sebastian took the checkered flag ahead of Mark for the first Red Bull Racing one-two of 2010. The race ultimately came down to the first 500 meters when Sebastian Vettel overtook pole-sitter Mark Webber, and from then on our drivers put on dominant, flawless displays for a sensational result for the team.
Last year’s podiums were our first in six attempts – the nearest we had come previously was sixth place, achieved by both Mark and David Coulthard in 2009 and 2005, respectively.
The race at Sepang joined the F1 calendar in 1999 and has been a fixture ever since. A twilight race was attempted in 2009, but the all-too-familiar torrential rain resulted in it being cut short, with half points being awarded for just the fifth time in F1 history.
Sepang is a medium downforce track, where braking is not an issue. It’s friendly to the overtaker, thanks to its wide proportions, a good mix of tight, twisting complexes, long high-speed straights – and the inevitable slippery conditions. Turns 1 and 2, which lead into one another, can be particularly exciting in the opening laps, especially with some new drivers on the grid. The race is 56 laps, a distance of 310.408km.
Michael Schumacher holds the record for the most number of wins in Sepang (three), and the most poles (five), while Juan Pablo Montoya’s 2004 lap record of 1:34.223 still stands today.
Away from the track, there’s a whole other world beyond the circuit gates to explore. From beach resorts to tour-standard golf courses – rain permitting, of course – to incredible cuisine in swish restaurants and state-of-the-art clubs in downtown Kuala Lumpa, you’ll never be stuck for something to fill those hours in-between track action.
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