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Sepang International Circuit layout & records

Sepang Circuit Details
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Race: Malaysian Grand Prix
Used Since: 1999
Type: Closed Circuit
 Lap Dist.: 5.543 km

Lap Record

Lap Record: 1:34,223 min
Date: 21 March 2004
F1 Driver: Juan Pablo Montoya
F1 Car: Williams FW26
Speed: 211,782 km/h

Pole Record

Record Pole: 1:32,582 min
Date: 19 March 2005
F1 Driver: Fernando Alonso
F1 Car: Renault R25
Speed: 215,537 km/h
Onboard Lap F1 Video
Sepang International Circuit layout & recordsSepang International Circuit layout & recordsSepang International Circuit layout & recordsSepang Circuit, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Sepang Circuit Layout
Sepang International Circuit layout & recordsSepang International Circuit layout & records

Sepang Circuit

Sepang International Circuit layout & records

Luciano Burti Arrows Malaysia 2002

The Malaysian grands prix has become one of the most popular races on the calendar since its inception in 1999. The venue was the catalyst for a surge of Asian races that now dominate the F1 season but remains the most popular alongside the historic Japanese grands prix.

Held in the country’s capital, Kuala Lumpa, the circuit is challenging but enjoyable and it has successfully avoided becoming a drab event like many of the newer circuits. It’s long straight and technical fast corners make it an attractive circuit and one that provides plenty of overtaking opportunities on it’s challenging layout. The race is traditionally held at the beginning of the season and it always provides plenty of drama and excitement.

Sepang International Circuit layout & records

Fernando Alonso drving the Ferrari F10 at Malaysia (2010)

This is largely due to the spectacular weather conditions. March is storm season in south-east Asia and heavy rain is frequent on race day. This can cause excitement but it is also a massive hindrance. The rain is often too heavy for the cars to navigate their way around the track and the race has often been stopped. In 2009 the race was abandoned half-way through due to the freakish conditions.

However, when the rain stays away the sun beats down and it is one of the hottest events of the year. Drivers have been known to lose up to a stone in weight during the race due to the extreme heat. The changing of conditions is more frequent now due to the change in start time on race day, which has become 5pm locally so it is more convenient for European viewers.

Sepang International Circuit layout & records

Mark Webber & Sebastian Vettel on the podium at Malaysia (2013)

Ferrari has been the most successful team at the Sepang circuit as they dominated the first few years. However, the most memorable race was in 2013 when Red Bull hit the headlines for the wrong reasons. Now referred to as Mult-21-gate, Sebastian Vettel overtook his team-mate Mark Webber to win the race in the final stages of the race. This was seen as a dirty trick as Webber had been assured that Vettel wouldn’t attack him and the cars would finish 2-1, in reference to the numbers on the front of their cars with Webber winning.

Malaysia still remains popular with both drivers and fans as it is a blend of old and new F1. The race is the perfect foil for the Australian grands prix that usually precedes it, but manages to put its own stamp on the sport. There is a valid criticism of F1 that the sport has too many dull and corporate races in Asia but Malaysia isn’t one of them. In the fast changing world of the sport, Malaysia is growing in popularity and is now seen as an essential fixture of F1’s calendar.

Three corners in detail

Turns 1 & 2
Turn 1 is a big engine braking zone, coming directly after the pit straight where the engine has been at full throttle for a touch under 11secs. The driver will brake down from 7th to 2nd gear and just 80kph for the entry of the turn before lightly applying the throttle between T1 and 2. At this point the engine needs to have good torque response as the revs drop to 9,000rpm. Engine engineers will do this through the pedal maps, giving enough sensitivity when the pedal is low.

Sepang International Circuit layout & records

Raikkonen with Lotus E21 turn 6

Turns 5 & 6
Turns 5 and 6 are two of the fastest corners on the track, taken at an average 225kph, with only a small lift off between corners. The high speed changes of direction put the internals of the engine under a lot of pressure, particularly the oil system, where the fluids are ‘squashed’ to one side by the g-forces. In contrast to T1 and 2 where the pedal sensitivity is required is at low opening positions, the driver will mainly be modulating the pedal towards its maximum travels. The driver needs to have confidence in the torque and pedal maps at these high pedal positions, particularly over the kerbs, to maximize his speeds through these two fast corners.

Sepang International Circuit layout & records

Start of 2013 Malaysian F1 GP

Pit straight
Top speed will peak at the end of the straight at around 310kph with DRS activated. Getting the right balance between a high top speed and appropriate acceleration is critical, making the choice of gear ratios crucial: you want to hit top speed just before the end of the straight to take advantage of greater acceleration. How the car behaves at this cruise speed will also be important for the driver. It needs to be smooth, so as not to affect the longitudinal acceleration of the vehicle. A smooth engine behaviour at the end of straight will ensure that reaching the top speed will be as transparent as possible for the driver and make overtaking easier. However, this can sometimes be difficult to calibrate, especially at Sepang where you have two long straights of opposite directions, which can mean that the wind can come into play.

Previous F1 GP Winners on Sepang Circuit
Year Race Date Driver Team Laps
2014 2014 Malaysian F1 GP result 29 March 1 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Lewis Hamilton
2 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Nico Rosberg
3 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Sebastian Vettel
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Mercedes
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Mercedes
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Red Bull
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2013 2013 Malaysian F1 GP result 24 March 1 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Sebastian Vettel
2 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Mark Webber
3 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Lewis Hamilton
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Red Bull
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Red Bull
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Mercedes
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2012 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix result 25 March 1 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Fernando Alonso
2 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Sergio Pérez
3 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Lewis Hamilton
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Ferrari
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Sauber
Sepang International Circuit layout & records McLaren
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2011 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix result 10 April 1 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Sebastian Vettel
2 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Jenson Button
3 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Nick Heidfeld
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Red Bull
Sepang International Circuit layout & records McLaren
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Renault
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2010 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix result 4 April 1 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Sebastian Vettel
2 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Mark Webber
3 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Nico Rosberg
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Red Bull
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Red Bull
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Mercedes
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2009 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix result 5 April 1 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Jenson Button
2 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Nick Heidfeld
3 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Timo Glock
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Brawn
Sepang International Circuit layout & records BMW Sauber
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Toyota
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2008 2008 Malaysian Grand Prix result 23 March 1 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Kimi Räikkönen
2 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Robert Kubica
3 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Heikki Kovalainen
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Ferrari
Sepang International Circuit layout & records BMW Sauber
Sepang International Circuit layout & records McLaren
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2007 2007 Malaysian Grand Prix result 8 April 1 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Fernando Alonso
2 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Lewis Hamilton
3 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Kimi Räikkönen
Sepang International Circuit layout & records McLaren
Sepang International Circuit layout & records McLaren
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Ferrari
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2006 2006 Malaysian Grand Prix result 19 March 1 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Giancarlo Fisichella
2 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Fernando Alonso
3 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Jenson Button
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Renault
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Renault
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Honda
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2005 2005 Malaysian Grand Prix result 20 March 1 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Fernando Alonso
2 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Jarno Trulli
3 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Nick Heidfeld
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Renault
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Toyota
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Williams
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2004 2004 Malaysian Grand Prix result 21 March 1 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Michael Schumacher
2 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Juan Pablo Montoya
3 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Jenson Button
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Ferrari
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Williams
Sepang International Circuit layout & records BAR
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2003 2003 Malaysian Grand Prix result 23 March 1 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Kimi Räikkönen
2 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Rubens Barrichello
3 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Fernando Alonso
Sepang International Circuit layout & records McLaren
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Ferrari
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Renault
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2002 2002 Malaysian Grand Prix result 17 March 1 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Ralf Schumacher
2 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Juan Pablo Montoya
3 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Michael Schumacher
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Williams
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Williams
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Ferrari
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2001 2001 Malaysian Grand Prix result 18 March 1 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Michael Schumacher
2 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Rubens Barrichello
3 Sepang International Circuit layout & records David Coulthard
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Ferrari
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Ferrari
Sepang International Circuit layout & records McLaren
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2000 2000 Malaysian Grand Prix result 22 October 1 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Michael Schumacher
2 Sepang International Circuit layout & records David Coulthard
3 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Rubens Barrichello
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Ferrari
Sepang International Circuit layout & records McLaren
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Ferrari
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1999 1999 Malaysian Grand Prix result 17 October 1 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Eddie Irvine
2 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Michael Schumacher
3 Sepang International Circuit layout & records Mika Häkkinen
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Ferrari
Sepang International Circuit layout & records Ferrari
Sepang International Circuit layout & records McLaren
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