A technician checks the temperature of the track ahead of the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit on March 27, 2014. – AFP Photo
SEPANG: The Formula One community will come together to observe a minute of silence at the Petronas Malaysia Formula 1 Grand Prix at Sepang this weekend as a show of respect for the passengers and crew of the ill-fated flight MH370.
The one-minute silence will be observed before the start of the race with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone at the starting grid with the drivers.
All the teams have agreed to display stickers bearing the flight number MH370 on the side of their helmets for the race this weekend.
With the nation still in mourning, the atmosphere for this year’s Malaysian GP will certainly not be as hyped up as before.
Sepang International Circuit chief executive officer Datuk Razlan Razali also revealed to The Star on Thursday that ticket sales were down by half over the corresponding week before the race and it will be hard to improve on the previous record attendance of 123,000 spectators.
”Ticket sales are not great. We have sold around 60,000 tickets since the start of the week and this may be due to the distraction because of the tragedy, but people are not in the mood to celebrate, really,” he said.
Razlan added the circuit would be putting up banners for fans to write their messages of tribute to the missing MH370 passengers and crew.
”We are also looking into the possibility of having one tribute wall in the paddock for the F1 community.
”Pending approval from the FIA (Formula One’s governing body), some of the cars will be sporting the Malaysian flag on their cars.
”We have also decided to cancel the acrobatic jet show involving four jets by Kris Sakti (of the Royal Malaysian Air Force) on Sunday.
”It would have been awesome as it was going to be the first time the public would see the Kris Sakti team in action.
”But it is not appropriate if we have such a performance at this time,” he added.
However, Razlan confirmed all other programmes and activities organised for the F1 event including the post-race concert featuring top DJ Calvin Harris will continue as scheduled albeit scaled down.