Words & photos: Nish | Venue: Sepang F1 Circuit, Malaysia


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In our build up article I said that I had been dying to do the Malaysian Grand Prix again ever since we did it in 2004. It was a trip we all thoroughly enjoyed, but while I remembered why I loved the east, I had to be reminded why I hated the East.

For those who haven't been there, 30 degrees is a cool day. Temperatures soar to 36 degrees with a "real feel" of 40 degrees. You shower at your hotel, leave the hotel, cross the road and you'll need another shower.

The heat at this year's Malaysian Grand Prix was no exception, but one thing we were thankful for is that it didn't rain.
We arrived early on race day and walked around in the Mall Area. This is normally where teams and sponsors have cars on display. Everyone has access to the Mall area no matter where you are seated, but the mall area eventually leads to Main Straight and back straight ticket holders.

Team merchandise is Very Very Expensive with caps, T-shirts and Pit Shirts costing R600 up to a staggering R1200 Plus.
Being the second race of the season the race is bound to be unpredictable ... another reason to attend.

In our case we were convinced that Mercedes would walk the race based on pre-season testing and the Australian Grand Prix. Thankfully we were mistaken, with Sebastiaan Vetted giving Mercedes a long awaited wake up call.

Alot of anti-Hamster fans were quick to point out that as soon things weren't going his way he threw a tantrum. This is what champions do guys. Let's not be quick to forget how Vettel and Alonso did the very same thing as soon as things didn't go their way. Hell, let's not forget how Schumi and even Senna used to throw their toys out of the cot ... and often.

It's the way these guys are bred from a very young age. They are programmed to win, sometimes at all cost. The only difference these days is that it's in our faces via pit radio, instant replays and live interviews during and immediately after the race.

Onto the elephant in the room, McLaren Honda, bloody hell they're bad. I didn't expect them to win off the bat, but to be fighting for 18th place… that I didn't expect. I just hope they don't throw in the towel too quickly like Honda did the year before the BAR car went onto winning the championship in2009. Mind you, they did use a Mercedes engine then. (Damnit, I am giving Honda bashers too much info here).

All in all a great race to attend for any F1 Fan. It's definitely one of the most affordable GP's to attend. Just come prepared for the heat and daily hour long torrential downpours and you'll be fine.

Tips for future Malaysian GP Attendees.

- To travel to and from the GP, take a Mono Rail / Taxi to KL Sentral Station. From there you can buy a GP package which utilises the Express Train to KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) after which you will be bussed to Sepang Circuit. You could opt for a taxi to do this trip but be prepared for traffic and lots of it.

- For leaving the Grand Prix, do one of two things, either leave early before the race is done or stay a bit later after the Grand Prix. They normally have an after party at the track which includes a Concert so there are plenty of things to do.

- Buy your tickets early. Tickets purchased directly from the track before the 1st of January (the GP is in March) are sold at a 50% discounted rate. This can mean the difference between crap affordable seats or decent discounted seats.

- Google will tell you that the best most affordable seats are located in the "K1" Grandstands. I had previously sat on the Back Straight and managed to check out the views from the main straight as well and I have to agree with Google. The K1 Seats offer you a view of the main straight with overtaking / out braking into Turn 1, a big screen directly opposite the stands and views of Turn 2, 3 and Turn 4 into the distance.

Be sure to check out the rest of the gallery below.


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