The last race of the 2000 FIA Formula One World Championship takes place in Malaysia at the picturesque Sepang circuit and the West McLaren Mercedes team is aiming to end the season on a high arriving in Kuala Lumpur as focused as ever. The...
The last race of the 2000 FIA Formula One World Championship takes place in Malaysia at the picturesque Sepang circuit and the West McLaren Mercedes team is aiming to end the season on a high arriving in Kuala Lumpur as focused as ever.
The Sepang track, which is located close to Kuala Lumpur International Airport, made its debut on the Formula One calendar last year marking the start of grand prix racing's expansion into the Far East. The 3.443 mile/5.542 kilometre purpose built venue is widely recognised as providing a fitting place for the finale of the 2000 Formula One season.
Sepang was designed with the intention that it should provide a benchmark for future Formula One tracks and the lay out encompasses plenty of overtaking opportunities and challenges for drivers and teams alike. The long straight and tight complex which start the lap provide genuine overtaking opportunities, all in the shadow of the largest grandstand in Formula One with the capacity for 30,000 spectators. The fast corners at the back of the circuit add to the variety that the Malaysian venue provides.
Further challenges are provided by the fact that the race takes place in the middle of the Malaysian rainy season and with the humidity being very high the pressure is on both teams and drivers.
'I'm focusing on getting a good result in Malaysia to finish both mine and the team's season in style. I like the track because it's purpose built for Formula One and the facilities are excellent. The track offers numerous opportunities to overtake, which makes the race more exciting for everyone. I have got silver in the Drivers' World Championship, which isn't too bad, when you've won the title twice -- you can't win all the time. Perhaps next year it will be my turn again.'
'We still have a chance of winning the Formula One Constructors' World Championship and both Mika and myself will be doing everything we can. Sepang is a fairly technical circuit as it has a good mixture of corners and some fast straights, so consequentially the car will have a medium/high downforce set-up.'
'Our preparation for Malaysia is no different from our preparation for any other Grand Prix -- we go there to win. Our aim is to add to the seven victories and seven pole positions we have achieved so far this year.'