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Sepang, Selangor

Unknown at the time but the Sepang International Circuit set a new pattern when it opened in 1999. It was the first Formula 1 track to be designed by the sport’s future architect of choice Hermann Tilke. While some of his subsequent tracks were met with criticism, Sepang set new standards and has stood the test of time well. The unique double-sided grandstands, complete with imposing Canopy Tower, gave it an ultra-modern look. The wide track with long straights that are followed by tight hairpins helped promote overtaking long before the Drag Reduction System was introduced. And with an international airport adjacent to the complex, accessibility could not be better for the F1 entourage. But excessively hot and humid conditions prevail and high ticket prices initially kept crowds to a minimum. A plan to run Formula 1’s first floodlit night race to boost interest and improve television schedules in Europe was abandoned due to logistical problems and safety fears. Sepang held the Malaysian Grand Prix for the last time in 2017.