Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib praises Meritus' stunning success in GP2 KUALA LUMPUR (MARCH 16, 2010): Asia's most successful motorsports team, Meritus GP, received the highest possible praise when Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri...
Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib praises Meritus' stunning success in GP2
KUALA LUMPUR (MARCH 16, 2010): Asia's most successful motorsports team, Meritus GP, received the highest possible praise when Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak congratulated it on becoming the first Asian team to win a GP2 race.
The Malaysian outfit, who has won 34 international titles in 13 years, secured second place in the Drivers' Championship through Luca Fillipi after the Italian won the Bahrain Grand Prix on Saturday. The team finished fourth in the Constructors' Championship, despite competing against 12 European-based teams.
"I congratulate and am proud of our home grown Malaysian team on its success in GP2, the F1 development series," said Datuk Seri Najib.
"Meritus GP and its Malaysian sponsors Questnet's win at the Bahrain Grand Prix in the GP2 Asia Championships is proof of the team's professionalism and the technical ability of our engineers."
Racing under the banner MalaysiaQI-MeritusMahara.com, the team collected 34 points from eight races. Filippi, who finished second twice before his victory on Saturday, ended the season on 29 points.
This was the first time a MalaysiaQI-MeritusMahara.com driver has finished inside the top five in GP2 Asia. The previous best was Hiroki Yoshimoto, who finished ninth with 14 points in the 2007-2008 season.
MalaysiaQI-MeritusMahara.com also finished in its best ever position with its best ever points tally after finishing with 18 and nine points in the first two seasons to be placed ninth and 10th in the overall standings.
Co-owner Firhat Mokhzani said he was touched by the premier's words of encouragement and added this has given the team extra incentive as it gears up for the challenge of racing in Europe next year.
"The team had been invited by GP2 CEO Bruno Michel to race in Europe even before we achieved our historic victory on Saturday. Now that we have shown we are capable of winning, we will look into the possibility of taking up the offer," said Firhat, who as head of driver development, has masterminded each of the team's 34 titles.
Meanwhile, one of the team's engineers, Sharli Mohamad took great pride in helping the team achieve its maiden GP2 victory in only his first season after promotion from the Formula BMW team.
"I'm delighted to have played a small part in the team's success in Bahrain. It was a totally different experience for me as GP2 is of a much higher level than Formula BMW," said Sharli, who has helped Meritus GP win the last seven Formula BMW championships.
This season's Formula BMW Pacific will flag off during the Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix weekend from April 3-5.