Malaysian Grand Prix

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This article is about the Formula One race. For other uses, see Malaysian Grand Prix (disambiguation).
Malaysian Grand Prix
Sepang International Circuit
Race information
Number of times held 17
First held 1999
Most wins (drivers) (4)
Germany Sebastian Vettel (4)
Most wins (constructors) Italy Ferrari (7)
Circuit length 5.543 km (3.444 mi)
Race length 310.408 km (192.878 mi)
Laps 56
Last race (2016)
Pole position
Fastest lap

The Malaysian Grand Prix is a round of the Formula One World Championship. It has been held at the Sepang International Circuit since 1999, although FIA-sanctioned racing in Malaysia has existed since the 1960s. Since 2011, the race has been officially known as the Malaysia Grand Prix.[1]


Sepang International Circuit[edit]

As part of a series of major infrastructure projects in the 1990s under Mahathir Mohamad's government, the Sepang International Circuit was constructed between 1997 and 1999 close to Putrajaya, the then-newly founded administrative capital of the country, with the intent of hosting the Malaysian Grand Prix. Similar to other of the country's circuits, the circuit is known for its unpredictable humid tropical weather, varying from clear furnace hot days to tropical rain storms.

The inaugural Grand Prix at Sepang was held in 1999, and saw Michael Schumacher return to the sport after his absence due to a broken leg sustained at that year's British Grand Prix.[2] Ferrari dominated the race, with Schumacher handing the victory to title-hopeful team-mate Eddie Irvine, only for both Ferraris to be disqualified due to a technical irregularity, before later being reinstated.[3]

The 2001 event was hit by a heavy rainstorm in the middle of the race which made conditions very difficult. Conditions were so bad that the two Ferraris of Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello spun off almost simultaneously at the same corner. Remarkably, they both recovered to score a Ferrari "1-2", because for a long time they were nearly 5 seconds faster than anyone else on the field. Elsewhere, the race was even led by Jos Verstappen, surprisingly. However, as the track begun to dry, he fell back to 7th, but his efforts to keep positions were memorable.[4]

Since 2001, the Malaysian Grand Prix has moved from the end of the season to the beginning, which has seen some topsy-turvy results as teams and drivers get to grips with their new equipment, with many races heavily influenced by the winners and losers of the scramble for position into the tight double hairpin bend at the first corner.[5]

On 8 April 2007, shortly before the 2007 Malaysian Grand Prix, Formula One president Bernie Ecclestone was quoted as stating that the circuit was getting "shabby" and "a bit tired" from the lack of care, describing it as "an old house that needs a bit of redecorating". He noted that the circuit itself is not the issue, but rather the surrounding environ; rubbish is said to be littered all over the place, potentially damaging the circuit's good reputation when it was opened in 1999.[6]

The day before, Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had met Ecclestone to discuss an extension of the Formula One contract beyond 2010.[6] While the government had been given an additional extension to host the Grand Prix until 2015, the government was still mulling the offer, as of 23 April 2007.[7] The circuit was given a renewed contract in 2006 to organise the Malaysian Grand Prix for another five years.[6]

The future of the Malaysian Grand Prix is under threat once its current contract expires in 2018 due to rising hosting fees and declining ticket sales. [8]

Proposed night race[edit]

On 13 February 2009, the management of the Sepang International Circuit announced its aim to become Formula One's second night race from 2008 after Singapore, following discussions about buying a floodlighting system. Its plans seem to be moving forward when Mokhzani Mahathir, the chairman of the circuit, revealed that they were in the process of securing a lighting system. He was quoted as saying, "They might be custom made for the circuit." [9] However, since then, the organizers have confirmed that they will not be making the race a night race, but will be adopting a late-afternoon start time.[10] The 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix indeed did adopt a late afternoon start time. However this proved disastrous due to heavy rainfall and the race not being able to be restarted due to the low light level making it through the clouds, the race ended on Lap 33, and with the rules requiring 42 laps for full points, so both driver and constructor results were halved in relation to points.[11]


  • 1999–2010: Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix
  • 2011–2018: Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix

Winners of the Malaysian Grand Prix[edit]

Multiple winners (drivers)[edit]

Embolded drivers are still competing in the Formula One championship
A pink background indicates an event which was not part of the Formula One World Championship.

Wins Driver Years
Germany Sebastian Vettel 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015
3 Germany Michael Schumacher 2000, 2001, 2004
Spain Fernando Alonso 2005, 2007, 2012
Finland Kimi Räikkönen 2003, 2008

Multiple winners (constructors)[edit]

Embolded teams are still competing in the Formula One championship
A pink background indicates an event which was not part of the Formula One World Championship.

Wins Constructor Years Won
7 Italy Ferrari 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2015
Austria Red Bull 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016
United Kingdom McLaren 2003, 2007
France Renault 2005, 2006

Year by year[edit]

! 2016 | Australia Daniel Ricciardo | Red Bull-TAG Heuer | Formula One |Sepang | Report |- ! 2015 | Germany Sebastian Vettel | Ferrari | Formula One | Report |- ! 2014 | United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton | Mercedes | Formula One | Report |- ! 2013 | Germany Sebastian Vettel | Red Bull-Renault | Formula One | Report |- ! 2012 | Spain Fernando Alonso | Ferrari | Formula One | Report |- ! 2011 | Germany Sebastian Vettel | Red Bull-Renault | Formula One | Report |- ! 2010 | Germany Sebastian Vettel | Red Bull-Renault | Formula One | Report |- ! 2009 | United Kingdom Jenson Button | Brawn-Mercedes | Formula One | Report |- ! 2008 | Finland Kimi Räikkönen | Ferrari | Formula One | Report |- ! 2007 | Spain Fernando Alonso | McLaren-Mercedes | Formula One | Report |- ! 2006 | Italy Giancarlo Fisichella | Renault | Formula One | Report |- ! 2005 | Spain Fernando Alonso | Renault | Formula One | Report |- ! 2004 | Germany Michael Schumacher | Ferrari | Formula One | Report |- ! 2003 | Finland Kimi Räikkönen | McLaren-Mercedes | Formula One | Report |- ! 2002 | Germany Ralf Schumacher | Williams-BMW | Formula One | Report |- ! 2001 | Germany Michael Schumacher | Ferrari | Formula One | Report |- ! 2000 | Germany Michael Schumacher | Ferrari | Formula One | Report |- ! 1999 | United Kingdom Eddie Irvine | Ferrari | Formula One | Report |- style="background-color: |Jaguar | |Report |}

Support races[edit]

Formula BMW Asia and Porsche Carrera Cup Asia have supported the Malaysian Grand Prix since 2003.


  1. ^ "Petronas extends Malaysian race sponsorship". 1 September 2010. Retrieved 2 September 2010. 
  2. ^ "The second coming of Schumacher Malaysian Grand Prix: Ferrari's talisman returns to poll position and can have a big say in title race". The Independent. 17 October 1999. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  3. ^ "GRAND PRIX RESULTS: MALAYSIAN GP, 1999". Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  4. ^ "GRAND PRIX RESULTS: MALAYSIAN GP, 2001". Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  5. ^ "2013 Malaysian Grand Prix - Preview". FIA. 19 March 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c "F1 boss says Sepang getting 'shabby'". Agence France-Presse/ Archived from the original on 10 April 2007. Retrieved 16 April 2007. 
  7. ^ "Malaysia mulling contract to extend Formula One race until 2015". Associated Press/International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 3 May 2007. 
  8. ^ "Malaysia considering dropping Grand Prix". Grand Prix Times. 24 October 2016. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  9. ^ "Malaysia closing on '09 race". Retrieved 13 February 2008. 
  10. ^ "Malaysian GP rules out night racing". 1 October 2008. 
  11. ^ "Button wins again but rain stops play at Sepang". F1 Fanatic. 5 April 2009. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 2°45′36″N 101°44′13″E / 2.760°N 101.737°E / 2.760; 101.737