A superb new circuit devised by German architect and track designer, Hermann Tilke, Sepang, near Kuala Lumpur, hosted the Malaysian Grand Prix for the first time last year. It is a visually dramatic, beautifully equipped facility that currently...
A superb new circuit devised by German architect and track designer, Hermann Tilke, Sepang, near Kuala Lumpur, hosted the Malaysian Grand Prix for the first time last year. It is a visually dramatic, beautifully equipped facility that currently sets the standard for Formula One circuits. The demanding, 15-turn, 5.542-km layout, featuring a pair of long, virtually parallel straights plus a combination of low- and medium-speed corners, puts drivers through their paces, several noting after last year's event that it was one of the most physically demanding tracks on which they had ever raced. Sepang also provides wonderful spectator facilities, including a unique "double-sided" grandstand situated between the straights. The surface is wide and smooth with overtaking opportunities most likely to occur under braking for the tight corners at the end of each of the straights, although there are other opportunities around the track
"It's great to return to Malaysia. Sepang is a physically demanding circuit and very technical, but is interesting to drive on. It also has quite a smooth surface. A good set-up works on most tracks, as it will on this one, but overall performance will depend a lot on the tyres. My main concern will be to get hydrated enough before the weekend, such is the amount of fluid you're bound to lose in the course of the race."
"Sepang is a fabulous facility and it's great to finish off the season at such a beautifully constructed circuit. It is clear that the Malaysians have taken pride in building what is a world-class facility. The overriding memories from last year concern the tremendous heat and humidity and the huge physical demands of the place. The combination of the ambient conditions and the fact we used the softest compound tyres offered by Bridgestone made for a very tough race for the drivers. Having moved in front of Jordan at Suzuka, and with only a two-point deficit to Benetton, our focus now as a team is on scoring sufficient points to secure fourth place in the World Constructors' Championship. Whatever happens, though, we can look back on the 2000 season with some satisfaction. It is fair to say that we've come a long way in the last year and have shown that we have the confidence and sense of purpose necessary to lay the ghost of our first season. The biggest challenge now ahead of us is to ensure we become a team capable of vying regularly for podium finishes in 2001."