Malaysia: Sepang International Circuit Preview

The Malaysian F1 Grand Prix is currently held at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC). The track itself is 5.543 km (3.44 miles) long and was designed by renowned German circuit designer Hermann Tilke.

Featuring 15 turns in total, the track is well known for it’s sweeping corners and wide straights. The layout is slightly unusual in that it has a very long back straight separated from the pit straight by a tight hairpin. The broad straights and tight corners allow exciting wheel-to-wheel action and this naturally causes some controversial clashes between drivers. Since joining the F1 calendar in 1999, the state-funded track has made a big impact and led the way for a swathe of new grand prix tracks that have since been built.

The first Formula One race held at Sepang was a memorable one with Michael Schumacher making a comeback from a three month break with a broken leg. He returned in style taking pole position and dominating the race before eventually handing victory to his team-mate Eddie Irvine. Subsequent years have seen Kimi Raikkonen taking his maiden Formula One victory and Jenson Button taking his first podium at the track.

The race itself is 56 laps long, with cars travelling just over 299 km (187 miles). The lap record is held by Juan Pablo Montoya with a time of 1:34.223, set in a BMW-Williams in 2004.

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