Home > Sport > Motorsport
Monday March 24, 2014 MYT 10:40:00 PM
Monday March 24, 2014 MYT 10:51:51 PM
by lim teik huat
Placards highlighting KL as a Grand Prix city in one of the many promotional activities before the Malaysian F1 GP event which will be held on Friday. - Filepic
PETALING JAYA: The Petronas Malaysia Formula 1 Grand Prix will go on – albeit in a more subdued atmosphere.
It is unfortunate that the Grand Prix will be held at a time the nation is dealing with the crisis surrounding the missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight 370.
The Beijing-bound flight disappeared on March 8 with 239 passengers and crew aboard, sparking a massive international search for its whereabouts.
It’s been more than two weeks now but there has been no sign of the plane.
The Petronas-backed Mercedes team, viewed as the ‘home team’, will show its support this weekend by displaying the ‘Come Home MH370’ message on the side panel of drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg’s machines.
Norliza Kamaruddin, the senior general manager, Group Strategic Communications for Petronas, said this is their way of lending support to the current situation.
“Everyone is sad about the situation. We want to keep the MH370 in mind although we are hosting the Malaysian GP,” she said.
Sepang International Circuit chief executive officer Datuk Razlan Razali said there is no reason for the Malaysian GP, which is the second round of the Formula 1 World Championship, to be cancelled.
“The atmosphere is subdued and I understand everyone is talking about it (the missing MH370) everywhere and asking why we are hosting a Formula One race under such circumstances,” he said.
“But it is something that was decided a long time ago.
“The teams have arrived and the race will go on, including the post-race concert ... but we must be sensitive and not go overboard.
“In fact, we also conducted a special prayer session (solat hajat) for the safety of the passengers and crew of MH370.”
Malaysia will be hosting the 16th edition of the F1 Grand Prix and this is not the first time that the sport has been staged under difficult circumstances.
Japan continued to stage the event although the country was devastated by the tsunami in 2011.
Last year’s F1 race in Sepang saw a record crowd of 123,400 thronging the circuit and the organisers are hopeful of an even bigger crowd – 125,000 – this weekend.
Fans will also be treated to a concert by chart-topping deejay Calvin Harris, who is performing for the first time in the region, at the Helipad area after the race.
Tags / Keywords:
Malaysia, F1, Grand Prix, Formula One, Calvin Harris, Sepang, circuit, MH370, MAS
Mercedes to show support for missing MH370 in ‘home race’
Scaled down Malaysian GP this year
What! F1 cars sound like a vacuum?
F1 concert cancelled as a mark of respect for MH370
All eyes on Malaysia in March
F1 supremo Ecclestone rules out being reined in
F1 had to schedule Korean GP, says Ecclestone
Button feels like he's starting afresh
McLaren set to announce 2015 drivers
Ladies, time to stand up and fight for your man
Looking out for your ears
Business as usual for blogger Jules Yap
Penang Perkasa lodges 25 police reports against Guan Eng for 'Allah' comments
Record-breaking ball drop at Lebua, Bangkok for New Year
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)