The Sepang International Circuit is all set and ready to host the 16th round of the Formula One season this weekend and as far as drivers are concerned, they could be in for a shock.
The track has been resurfaced and upgraded, with SIC spending approximately RM15 million on all the reformation works. This means teams would no longer be able to rely on data recorded at the SIC from races in previous year – which effectively spices things up this weekend.
“No one knows how much degradation of new tires will happen after a certain number of laps when it comes to the new asphalt as this is the only resurfaced track in F1 calendar this season,” SIC CEO Datuk Razlan Razali was quoted as saying by Astro Awani.
“The composition of the asphalt is specially formulated to withstand the climate and weather of Malaysia, so it is different from other circuits around of the world.
The new track was first put to test during the World Superbike Championship in May as well as the Michellin MotoGP test on Monday. Besides the track, SIC also spent RM19 million to build new Paddock Chalets as well as a new South Paddock.
“The 18 pit garages in the double story South Paddock will be used for GP2 and GP3 series, other home grown races and other private events like car launches,” he added.
This weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix could play a crucial part in deciding the World Champion, with Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton spearheading the pack with 273 points and 265 points, respectively.