Sepang expects large turn out of Indian F1 fans

Written by FE Online | Mumbai | Updated: Feb 24 2014, 20:25pm hrs
Formula 1Sepang expects large turn out of Indian F1 fans
For the first time in four years, Sepang International Circuit (SIC) promoter and organiser of the 2014 Formula 1 Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix - has recommended for motor racing fans in India to adjust their travelling plans to Sepang, which will be hosting Round 2 of the World Championship in March.

Dato Razlan Razali, chief executive officer, SIC, said, With a home team the Sahara Force India F1 Team, flying the national flag, Indian fans would, want to be at the circuit to cheer their home.

Sepang would be the perfect venue to provide that support in the absence of the Indian Grand Prix this year. Not just because of the abundance in numbers of flights provided by Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia to and from various Indian destinations flying directly to Sepang, Malaysia would also be lining up plenty of other attractions for the Indian tourists to enjoy in conjunction with the current Visit Malaysia Year celebrations, added Razali. While Malaysia Airlines flies to New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kochi, Air Asias destinations include Chennai, Bengaluru, Kochi, Kolkata

and Tiruchirappalli. Though operating from two separate airports KLIA for Malaysia Airlines and LCCT for Air Asia, both airports are in close proximity to the racing track.

Fielding an exciting new partnership of Germanys Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez of Mexico, theForce India F1 Team have the experience and the talents to surprise their rivals this season. Perez, who drove for McLaren last season, replaces Paul di Resta to represent Force India for the first time in his career. Hlkenberg, on the other hand, is returning to the team and replaces Adrian Sutil, who moves to Sauber this season. Daniel Juncadella is the teams reserve driver for the season.

Razali said, This is especially true with the sweeping new rules this year, which effectively have put all the competing teams on a level playing field especially with the Sepang race happening so early in the season. In fact, Sepang has always been regarded as the opening race on a proper racing circuit.

The 2014 season would open at the tight street circuit of Albert Park in Melbourne with the Australian Grand Prix from March 14 to 16 before proceeding to Sepang for an entirely different kind of challenge on its smooth and slick 5.543-km race track.

Competing teams already had their first taste of the new machines in testing and all of them agreed to a single fact of the challenging prospect in the 2011 season, which is posed by the new rules this year which included the introduction of a new V6 turbocharged engine and energy recovery systems replacing the old V8s.

Even, defending four-times constructors champion, Red Bull Racing, which completely dominated last years competition, had declared that no team can be considered itself as a favourite for this year's Formula One championship. Red Bull principal Christian Horner said that the new V6 engines create

far too much uncertainty, which definitely works well for teams outside the Big Four Red Bull Racing, McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes.

Razali said, At Sepang, fans can witness the F1 teams and drivers pushing their machines to the limit as they battle around the slick, challenging racing circuit. It would be totally different from thecontest at Albert Park. And, you will also experience plenty more than just the best of F1 excitement in Sepang. Its a total experience of Malaysian carnival and food festival, shopping escapade, extremesports, auto jamboree, entertainment, fun and games, a captivating opening ceremony gimmick and a post-race concert featuring world renowned DJ, Calvin Harris as the main act, he added.

For the very first time in the history of the event, the off-track attractions would feature special 3D exhibition at the Mall Area, which would trace back the history for Formula 1 in Malaysia since the last 15 years.

We would be installing over 30 3D panels, which would be designed as the Walls of Fame and take the fans to experience a special Formula 1 journey, Razlan said, adding that fans would also be treated to a special F1 3D Motion as the climax to 3D experience.

In Kuala Lumpur, fans can indulge themselves in countless F1-theme activities and events including various meet-the-drivers sessions, the GP Street Demo and the open-for-public pre-race Twin Tower@LIVE concert, which would be held for two consecutive days on March 28 and 28 at the

Petronas Twin Tower.