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The Malaysian Grand Prix was an annual auto race held in Malaysia. It was part of the Formula One World Championship from 1999 to 2017 and it was held during these years at the Sepang International Circuit. The first Malaysian Grand Prix was held in 1962 in what is now Singapore.

Malaysian Grand Prix
Sepang International Circuit
Race information
Number of times held37
First held1962
Last held2017
Most wins (drivers)Hong Kong John MacDonald (4)
Germany Sebastian Vettel (4)
Most wins (constructors)Italy Ferrari (7)
Circuit length5.543 km (3.444 mi)
Race length310.408 km (192.879 mi)
Last race (2017)
Pole position
Fastest lap



Singapore and Shah AlamEdit

The 1962 to 1965 seasons of the original Grand Prix held on the Thomson Road circuit in Singapore is regarded as an earlier precedence of the Malaysian Grand Prix, when Singapore was originally part of the Malaysian federation from 1963 to 1965. After Singapore seceded from the federation in 1965, the Grand Prix continued until 1973.

Between Singapore's departure from the Malaysian federation and the opening of Sepang Circuit, Malaysia hosted a range of other racing categories in the Malaysian Grand Prix at Shah Alam's own circuit between 1968 and 1995 including Formula Libre (1968), Tasman Formula, (1969-1972), Formula Atlantic (1973–1975), Formula Two (1977) Formula Pacific (1978–1982) and Formula Brabham (1995).

Sepang International CircuitEdit

As part of a series of major infrastructure projects in the 1990s under Mahathir Mohamad's government, the Sepang International Circuit was constructed between 1997 and 1999 close to Putrajaya, the then-newly founded administrative capital of the country, with the intent of hosting the Malaysian Grand Prix. Similar to other of the country's circuits, the circuit is known for its unpredictable humid tropical weather, varying from clear furnace hot days to tropical rain storms.

The inaugural Grand Prix at Sepang was held in 1999, and saw Michael Schumacher return to the sport after his absence due to a broken leg sustained at that year's British Grand Prix.[1] Ferrari dominated the race, with Schumacher handing the victory to title-hopeful teammate Eddie Irvine, only for both Ferraris to be disqualified due to a technical irregularity, before later being reinstated.[2]

From 2001, the Malaysian Grand Prix moved from the end of the season to the beginning, which has seen some topsy-turvy results as teams and drivers got to grips with their new equipment, with many races heavily influenced by the winners and losers of the scramble for position into the tight double hairpin bend at the first corner.[3]

The 2001 event was hit by a heavy rainstorm in the middle of the race which made conditions very difficult. Conditions were so bad that the two Ferraris of Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello spun off almost simultaneously at the same corner. Remarkably, they both recovered to score a Ferrari 1–2, because for a long time they were nearly 5 seconds faster than anyone else on the field. Elsewhere, the race was even led by Jos Verstappen, surprisingly. However, as the track begun to dry, he fell back to seventh, but his efforts to keep positions were memorable.[4]

On 8 April 2007, shortly before the 2007 Malaysian Grand Prix, Formula One president Bernie Ecclestone was quoted as stating that the circuit was getting "shabby" and "a bit tired" from the lack of care, describing it as "an old house that needs a bit of redecorating". He noted that the circuit itself is not the issue, but rather the surrounding environment; rubbish is said to be littered all over the place, potentially damaging the circuit's good reputation when it was opened in 1999.[5]

The day before, Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had met Ecclestone to discuss an extension of the Formula One contract beyond 2010.[5] While the government had been given an additional extension to host the Grand Prix until 2015, the government was still mulling the offer, as of 23 April 2007.[6] The circuit was given a renewed contract in 2006 to organise the Malaysian Grand Prix for another five years.[5]

On 13 February 2008, the management of the Sepang International Circuit announced its aim to become Formula One's second night race from 2009 after Singapore, following discussions about buying a floodlighting system. Mokhzani Mahathir, the chairman of the circuit, was quoted as saying that the lights "might be custom made for the circuit."[7] However, the organisers ended up settling for a late-afternoon start time.[8]

The 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix was held around sunset, starting at 17:00 local time (09:00 UTC). This proved disastrous due to heavy rainfall. The race was red-flagged and ultimately not restarted due to the low light level making it through the clouds. The race ended on lap 33, and with the regulations requiring 42 laps for full points, both driver and constructor results were halved in relation to points.[9]

On 7 April 2017, it was announced that the 2017 race would be the last time the event would be held at Sepang.[10][11] The race's contract was due to expire in 2018, but its future had been under threat due to rising hosting fees and declining ticket sales.[12] Malaysia's youth and sports minister at the time Khairy Jamaluddin said on Twitter: "I think we should stop hosting the F1. At least for a while. Cost too high, returns limited. When we first hosted the F1 it was a big deal. First in Asia outside Japan. Now so many venues. No first mover advantage. Not a novelty."[13] The BBC reported that "Malaysia had struggled in recent years to attract a significant crowd, its appeal having been damaged by the more glamorous night-time event on a street track in Singapore."[14]


  • 1999–2017: Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix

Winners of the Malaysian Grand PrixEdit

Repeat winners (drivers)Edit

A pink background indicates an event which was not part of the Formula One World Championship.

Wins Driver Years won
4   John MacDonald 1970, 1971, 1973, 1975
  Sebastian Vettel 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015
3   Michael Schumacher 2000, 2001, 2004
  Fernando Alonso 2005, 2007, 2012
2   Albert Poon 1963, 1965
  Andrew Miedecke 1981, 1982
  Kimi Räikkönen 2003, 2008

Repeat winners (constructors)Edit

A pink background indicates an event which was not part of the Formula One World Championship.

Wins Constructor Years won
7   Ferrari 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2015
5   Red Bull 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016, 2017
4   March 1972, 1977, 1978, 1979
  Ralt 1975, 1980, 1981, 1982
3   Brabham 1970, 1971, 1973
2   Lotus 1963, 1965
  Elfin 1968, 1969
  McLaren 2003, 2007
  Renault 2005, 2006

Repeat winners (engine manufacturers)Edit

A pink background indicates an event which was not part of the Formula One World Championship.

Wins Constructor Years won
15   Ford * 1963, 1965, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982
7   Ferrari 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2015
5   Renault 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2013
4   Mercedes ** 2003, 2007, 2009, 2014
2   BMW 1977, 2002
  TAG Heuer *** 2016, 2017

* Built by Cosworth

** Built by Ilmor in 2003

*** Built by Renault

Year by yearEdit

A pink background indicates an event which was not part of the Formula One World Championship.
The official name of the 1962 race was "Malayan Grand Prix".

Year Driver Car Class Location Report
2017   Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing-TAG Heuer Formula One Sepang Report
2016   Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing-TAG Heuer Formula One Report
2015   Sebastian Vettel Ferrari Formula One Report
2014   Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Formula One Report
2013   Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault Formula One Report
2012   Fernando Alonso Ferrari Formula One Report
2011   Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault Formula One Report
2010   Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault Formula One Report
2009   Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes Formula One Report
2008   Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari Formula One Report
2007   Fernando Alonso McLaren-Mercedes Formula One Report
2006   Giancarlo Fisichella Renault Formula One Report
2005   Fernando Alonso Renault Formula One Report
2004   Michael Schumacher Ferrari Formula One Report
2003   Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes Formula One Report
2002   Ralf Schumacher Williams-BMW Formula One Report
2001   Michael Schumacher Ferrari Formula One Report
2000   Michael Schumacher Ferrari Formula One Report
1999   Eddie Irvine Ferrari Formula One Report

Not held
1995   Paul Stokell Reynard-Holden Formula Brabham Shah Alam Report

Not held
1982   Andrew Miedecke Ralt-Ford Formula Pacific Shah Alam Report
1981   Andrew Miedecke Ralt-Ford Formula Pacific Report
1980   Steve Millen Ralt-Ford Formula Pacific Report
1979   Ken Smith March-Ford Formula Pacific Report
1978   Graeme Lawrence March-Ford Formula Pacific Report
1977   Patrick Tambay March-BMW Formula Two Report
1976 Not held
1975   John MacDonald Ralt-Ford Formula Atlantic Shah Alam Report
1974   John MacDonald Ralt-Ford Formula Atlantic Report
1973   Sonny Rajah March-Ford Formula Atlantic Report
1972   Harvey Simon Elfin-Ford Tasman Formula Report
1971   John MacDonald Brabham-Ford Tasman Formula Report
1970   John MacDonald Brabham-Ford Tasman Formula Report
1969   Tony Maw [15] Elfin 600-Ford [15] Tasman Formula Report
1968   Hengkie Irawan [16] Elfin 600-Ford [16] Formula Libre [16] Report

Not held as Thomson Road circuit was now in an independent Singapore.
Thomson Road circuit held the Singapore Grand Prix until 1973.
1965   Albert Poon [17] Lotus 23 [17] Thomson Road Report
1964 Rained out after 7 laps. [18]
1963   Albert Poon [18] Lotus 23 [18] Thomson Road Report
1962   Yong Nam Kee [18] Jaguar E-Type [18] Report

Support racesEdit

Formula BMW Asia and Porsche Carrera Cup Asia have supported the Malaysian Grand Prix since 2003.


  1. ^ "The second coming of Schumacher Malaysian Grand Prix: Ferrari's talisman returns to poll position and can have a big say in title race". The Independent. 17 October 1999. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  2. ^ "GRAND PRIX RESULTS: MALAYSIAN GP, 1999". Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  3. ^ "2013 Malaysian Grand Prix – Preview". FIA. 19 March 2013. Archived from the original on 5 February 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ "GRAND PRIX RESULTS: MALAYSIAN GP, 2001". Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  5. ^ a b c "F1 boss says Sepang getting 'shabby'". Agence France-Presse/ Archived from the original on 10 April 2007. Retrieved 16 April 2007.
  6. ^ "Malaysia mulling contract to extend Formula One race until 2015". Associated Press/International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 3 May 2007.
  7. ^ "Malaysia closing on '09 race". Archived from the original on 15 February 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2008. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  8. ^ "Malaysian GP rules out night racing". 1 October 2008. Archived from the original on 2 October 2008. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  9. ^ "Button wins again but rain stops play at Sepang". F1 Fanatic. 5 April 2009. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  10. ^ "2017 race to be Malaysia's F1 farewell". Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  11. ^ "France and Germany return as 2018 F1 calendar revealed". 19 June 2017. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  12. ^ "Malaysia considering dropping Grand Prix". Grand Prix Times. 24 October 2016. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  13. ^ Gray, James (1 October 2017). "Why is the Malaysian Grand Prix getting CANCELLED? Last race explained". Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  14. ^ "Malaysian Grand Prix: Sepang to drop off F1 calendar after 19 years of racing". BBC Sport. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  15. ^ a b 1969 Malaysian Grand Prix, Retrieved 31 December 2018
  16. ^ a b c Derek Fulluck, Elfin takes Malaysian GP, Autosport, September 27, 1968.
  17. ^ a b Vroom Vroom… Looking Back at the Old Singapore Grand Prix, Retrieved 31 December 2018
  18. ^ a b c d e Singapore Fling, Motor Sport, March 2006, pages 72 to 77

External linksEdit