12th February, Kuala Lumpur -
With 2007 celebrated as the Visit Malaysia
Year, the ninth edition of Formula One Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix
is expected to be a tourist's dream with the entire nation of Malaysia
packed with fascinating programmes and incentives for travelers
especially within the Malaysian Formula One race week.
Slotted as Round 2 of a 17-round world championship, the Malaysian GP
will be held three weeks after the opening round in Australia from 6th
to 8th April. The season opener will be held at Albert Park in
Melbourne in mid March.
As the second round, fans would again look at Sepang as the start of
the actual contest for supremacy as all the teams and drivers would be
better prepared for battle; having shaken off all the new season
jittery and coming into Malaysia with better understanding of their
machines and strength of their rivals.
Indeed, the new 2007 season would see prominent changes at the pits
and garages; setting the stage for an exciting season with plenty of
prospects for surprises and uncertainties.
Fernando Alonso - the man who unseated the legendary Michael
Schumacher in 2005 for the world crown and spoiling the German's final
season last year by retaining his title - will not be in his usual
blue overalls and the steady support of his trusted, super efficient
Instead, Alonso would put putting his confidence in Ron Dennis and his
McLaren-Mercedes - the team that helped The Flying Finn Mika Hakkinen
won two world titles in 1998 and 1999; but unable to maintain that
winning trend with a younger Finnish Kimi Raikkonen.
In pursuing his world championship dreams, Kimi took his broken heart
to Ferrari; taking over the seat vacated by the retired seven-time
world champion; making him as Alonso's biggest challenger for the new
2007 season along with Brazilian Felipe Massa in the other Ferrari
Elsewhere, Mark Webber would move to Red Bull Racing to join David
Coulthard while the partnership of Jenson Button and Rubens
Barrichello remained at Honda. So have the BMW Sauber duo - Nick
Heidfeld, Robert Kubica as well as Toyota's Ralf Schumacher and Jarno
Without doubt, the drivers' movements and retention of others as well
as the entry of rookies had increased the excitement level of the
world championship especially for the Malaysian round in April when
competition is still fresh and lots of uncertainties.
Promoted as 'The World's Hottest Race', the Petronas Malaysian Grand
Prix is regarded as one of the toughest leg in the world championship
due to its challenging and unpredictable weather; and the challenging
Designed to trill, as reflected by its tagline, the stadium-like
circuit has a combination of slow and fast corners with two long
straights that will allow the drivers to take their race machines to
the limit. Plus, with a width of up to 22 meters, the circuit provides
ample opportunity for overtaking maneuvers.
While actions on the track are expected to be hotter than ever,
supporting off-track events outside the circuit are expected to be as
hot. As in previous years, the city of Kuala Lumpur will be lining up
special programmes running to the Race Day to hype up the event.
In reflecting the image of the Grand Prix City of Kuala Lumpur, the
city would be painted in Formula One colours with all the leading
hotels, shopping complexes, restaurants and clubs organizing various
Targeting a full-house 120,000, race promoters Sepang International
Circuit will look to the worldwide promotions of Visit Malaysia Year
to supplement its efforts to promote the 2007 Formula One Petronas
Malaysian Grand Prix.
While its sales missions would continue to focus on its traditional
European markets of Britain, Italy, Germany, Finland and France, the
Malaysian race promoter would also continue efforts in expanding its
market in China, South Africa, Australia and the vital South East Asia