3 ‘home’ teams to battle it out in this year’s F1

A new year means a new season to the highly competitive Formula 1 Grand Prix World Championship and this year would be quite an exciting one with Malaysia being the home to 3 teams racing in the circuit. Datuk Razlan Razali, the Chief Executive Officer of SIC (Sepang International Circuit), home to the Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix said that national oil and gas company Petronas is the main sponsor of the Mercedes GP team helmed by 7 time world champion Michael Schumacher as well as the title sponsor of the event here.

He also said that the Malaysian chapter of the championship which will be held on April 8 to 10 will surely be a widely anticipated event especially with the fact that there would be 3 ‘home’ teams. The most prominent of course would be the Mercedes GP Petronas team while national car maker Proton has acquired the Renault team and will be competing via the Lotus Renault team name while the former Lotus Racing team will be competing using the Team Lotus banner.

Razlan said that with the local automotive giants backing the teams for the race, they will surely try to make their mark at home in Sepang. Lotus Renault, apart from being one of the major suppliers of engines for the sport will be strongly backed by Proton who owns Lotus Group while Team Lotus (which is also known as 1Malaysia F1 team) is carried forward by Air Asia and Tune Group owner Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes.

He said that since the first F1 race in Sepang back in 1999, who would have imagined the sport has progressed after 12 editions and the event has become a permanent fixture in the championship as well as one which is looked forward to by Malaysians from all walks of life. Apart from that, the local automotive industry too has widely benefited from this. He also said that while the industry has gained much exposure both regionally and internationally, the event had also helped the service sector, in particular the tourism businesses tremendously. SIC is targeting to attract 100,000 fans or the race and with their current 50% discount on tickets for early birds promotion, SIC is confident that the target could be reached.