Sepang International Circuit – spectators’ experiences

This discussion page is closed. If you want to discuss going to the Malaysian Grand Prix please go to the new discussion forum here: Going to the Malaysian Grand Prix


Fernando Alonso, Sepang, Renault, 2006Tell us about your experiences of visiting the Sepang International Circuit.

You may wish to include:

  • When you visited the track
  • Where you watched from
  • How easy it was to get to
  • How much of the track you could see
  • What support races there were
  • What you liked and didn’t like
  • How much it cost and whether it was good value

Please use the reply box below to leave your comments.

Are you going to the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix? Chat with other F1 fans who are going to the race here: 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix discussion

28 comments on Sepang International Circuit – spectators’ experiences

  1. belleny said on 26th December 2010, 8:13

    can somebody explain to me about the seats at Main Grandstand (Ruby), K1 Grandstand and the F Grandstand prons n cons. because im still considering to buy my first F1 live ticket…

  2. Andy Price said on 14th April 2011, 22:03

    I was supposed to be going to Bahrain but the political situation meant that the race had to be cancelled. I got my money back for the hotel and race ticket but because of the type of flight ticket I could not get a refund, and insurance does not cover civil unrest. Eventually KLM agreed to give me credit against another flight before the end of April, so Malaysia it was.

    I flew from Glasgow to Amsterdam and then overnight to Kuala Lumpur arriving mid afternoon Friday (8th April). The flight was 11 ½ hours, but the food and movies were okay and we arrived on time. There were two huge queues for immigration and, having been to the USA several times, I feared that it would take a long time to get through, but there were a lot of staff and it went quickly. I changed currency, bought rail tickets to KL, a local SIM card (to stay in touch with home) and was on the train within an hour of touching down. The train took me to KL Sentral from where I got a taxi to the hotel. I had read some warnings about the taxis but there is a booth where you can buy a prepaid ticket and it worked out great.

    I was staying at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel, booked through F1 Travel, it was a good deal and really luxurious.

    I was up sharp on Saturday and took a taxi back to KL Sentral. I bought a two day travel ticket, RM90 (about £18/$27) to get to the circuit which is specifically for F1 fans. The train (KL Transit) took me back to the airport where we all transferred to a coach and which took us the few miles to the circuit where I collected my ticket. One thing – they do not allow you to take any food or drink into the circuit and that includes water! Don’t be fooled by the dozens of vendors selling cold drinks a few yards before the security check!

    There is plenty of choice for food including fish & chips, hot dogs, fried rice and octopus balls! The prices were okay bearing in mind the rip offs at some events – £4 for a roll with coleslaw or fish and chips, £1 for a bottle of water or fruit juice.

    I was sitting in Garnet which is on the opposite side to the pit complex but nearer the start of the straight – about row 6 on the grid. I managed to move about the Mall area and get access to various spots to take pictures without any difficulty. Getting onto the top level of the Tower, which overlooks the last corner and pit entry, was tricky but the staff got bored and it was possible to slip up the stairs. It was great to see the cars braking for the last corner and many of them locked the front inside wheel. It was a great place to take to take pictures but it was hard to keep track of who was where during qualifying. I thought that the Red Bulls and McLarens looked slow taking that corner but as the grid positions showed they were anything but slow. The Force Indias’, by contrast, looked fast and furious, but were off the pace. Massa looked much better that Alonso.

    Traffic was pretty chaotic getting out of the circuit but I was back in KL inside two hours.

    On race the drivers were due to appear at the main entrance to the circuit to sign autographs between 12 and 1pm. Firstly, the organisers need to reconsider using this location as it virtually blocked the entry to the circuit and the thousands of fans had to squeeze through the very narrow gap that was left. Apparently some people had been in the autograph queue for over three hours! Trying to get photos of the drivers was not easy – as soon as a vehicle arrived thousands of phones and cameras went up. Many of those present clearly don’t follow F1 closely as the teams PR people appeared to be popular subjects! I managed a couple of pictures. Schumacher, Vettel, Massa, Button and Hamilton were good with the crowd but from what I saw the rest did not really interact very much. I also noted that almost every team’s drivers arrived in the same vehicles, except for Vettel and Webber.

    Race day was hot and overcast with rain looking highly probable. My seat allowed me a good view of what was happening on the grid but I moved to the back so I could get some pictures without the safety fence in the way. I also noticed that the security staff were not as vigilant as they had been the previous day. Once you were inside your section of the stand there was no one stopping you moving to the upper level (as there had been during qualifying) and it was possible to get along towards the dearer seats on the lower level. As long as you were prepared to stand there was no problem. After the start I moved to the upper level and was able to see more of the circuit, including turns 10 and 11. The circuit screens were okay but it was really hard to read the drivers positions and the circuit commentary was inaudible. I could not find the Kangaroo Stand (should that now be Fan TV?) and only saw two people using them and which they had previously bought. I missed listening to ‘Crofty’.

    I got in position almost opposite the podium at the end of the race and was able to catch some pictures of the drivers parking and the podium presentation.

    Getting the shuttle bus to leave the circuit was well organised but the traffic was horrendous and it took almost two hours to get to the airport – could have walked if only I had the energy (and knew the way)!
    You all know the story of the race, if you watched on TV you would have known much better than those at the circuit, but that is always the way of it. You just cannot beat the atmosphere of being at the race and I can watch the race when I get home.

    I spent the next day in Kuala Lumpur seeing some of the sights and it is a nice place. It was a long way to travel for such a short time, but I loved it and yes, I would do it again.

  3. Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 26th July 2011, 6:14

    I went to Sepang in 2009, and it was a BLAST.

    I even wrote a whole article about it! Check it out here: http://sidepodcast.com/post/a-view-of-sepang

  4. EternalSunshine (@eternalsunshine) said on 1st November 2011, 8:53

    Great article! I’m thinking of going next year. I just have a few questions:

    - Which grandstand were you seated? Is this the Diamond Grandstand? Would you know if staying in the Crystal Grandstand have the same experience as Diamond?
    - Also, are the mandatory autograph sessions just for a specific grandstand? Or is this open to all ticket holders?

  5. David Langdown said on 1st November 2011, 9:02

    Highly recommend Stand F. Block M. Undercover and perfect views 4 parts of the circuit.
    But dont forget your sweat towel, the humidity is very high !

  6. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 9th December 2011, 13:28

    This discussion page is closed. If you want to discuss going to the Malaysian Grand Prix please go to the new discussion forum here: Going to the Malaysian Grand Prix