MERITUS HOPES TO CONTINUE WINNING RECORD AT ABU DHABI YAS MARINA CIRCUIT KUALA LUMPUR (SEPT 19, 2009): Malaysia will soon have its own Formula 1 team -- 1Malaysia F1-- but it will be MERITUS-GP2, who will have the honour of being the first ...
MERITUS HOPES TO CONTINUE WINNING RECORD AT ABU DHABI YAS MARINA CIRCUIT
KUALA LUMPUR (SEPT 19, 2009): Malaysia will soon have its own Formula 1 team -- 1Malaysia F1-- but it will be MERITUS-GP2, who will have the honour of being the first Malaysian team to race at Yas Marina Circuit, in Abu Dhabi, which was opened by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
Scheduled from Oct 30-Nov 1, the inaugural Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix is not only the climax of this season's Formula One, but also the opening round of the 2009-2010 GP2 Asia Series.
Meritus has a proud record of winning the inaugural races at the Singapore, Bahrain and Shanghai Grand Prix and team owner Firhat Mokhzani is keen to continue that streak.
Meritus, Asia's most successful motorsports team with 32 international titles in 12 years, is the only Asian representative in the GP2 Asia and has finished inside the top 10 in the first two seasons of GP2 despite racing against top notch European competition. The MERITUS-GP2 team now has the knowledge and experience with new engineers and team management to build on its impressive performance.
It is finalising its driver line-up and is expected to make an announcement on Oct 20. Meritus has ambitious plans and is taking up the invitation of the GP2 management to become the first Asian outfit to race in GP2 Europe in 2011. The invitation by GP2 Chief Executive Officer Bruno Michel was confirmed in an interview during the Monza Grand Prix.
"Yas Marina is without doubt, one of the most beautiful F1 venues, if not among the best sporting venues in the world," said Firhat.
"It will be a joy to race at Yas Marina and I for one, can't wait to see Meritus' cars on the starting grid. Last year, Meritus was the first team to win a race at the newly built Marina Bay street circuit in Singapore. We were also the first to win at the inaugural Grand Prix in Bahrain and Shanghai. Who knows, we may also be the first team to win at Yas Marina.
"The 2009-2010 GP2 Asia Series is an important one as we are no longer rookies. We are negotiating with drivers who are winners in GP2. Experience is a key ingredient to win any championship and we would be so proud to win this prestigious championship for Malaysia and Asia.
"We have proven we can compete with the European teams as our drivers have set quickest laps in four of the five venues last season and we were even on the podium. The next step is to win more races and hopefully, take home the constructors' title."
Winning the championship will boost Meritus' plans to establish a Malaysian motorsport technical facility near the (Sepang International Circuit SIC).
MERITUS-GP2 team will effectively be Malaysia's F1 development team. One of the planned functions of this team will be to provide race-engineering training and development for Malaysian engineers and technicians.