Fans rev up for ‘hottest’ race

  • Other Sport
  • Monday, 21 Mar 2005

SEPANG: It was yet another successful edition of the Petronas F1 Malaysian Grand Prix, with more than 100,000 fans thronging the Sepang F1 Circuit on race day. 

The sweltering heat did not dampen their spirits as they revved themselves up for the world’s “hottest” race.  

HUGE TURNOUT: A view of some of the 100,000 fans who thronged the Sepang F1 Circuit on race day yesterday.

Various banners were draped from the main grandstand to show support to their favourite team or driver. Enthusiastic fans also waved flags every time a race car passed by. 

Although the Ferarri tifosi (supporters) still dominated with their red shirts, flags and banners, their numbers were lower compared with previous years, when the siren red was the colour of the day.  

This time around, Renault and BAR Honda fans battled it out with their respective light blue and red team colours, complete with the usual accessories of banners and flags to cheer their team and drivers on.  

BAR Honda fans, however, had little to cheer about, when drivers Jenson Button and Anthony Davidson retired early in the race. 

Also among the crowd were fans of other teams including Sauber Petronas, Toyota and McLaren Mercedes. 

The majority of spectators, however, came dressed in attire that would keep them cool, including sundresses, shorts, T-shirts, caps and hats.  

VIP VISITOR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi visiting the Sauber Petronas racing team at the Sepang F1 circuit yesterday.

Most of them at the mall area congregated under trees and shielded themselves with umbrellas, while others queued up to buy food and iced drinks. 

And when the heat got too much to bear, some of the men lounged around without their shirts. 

At the paddock, fans lucky enough to be invited in as guests braved the heat and waited patiently to see whether they could catch a glimpse of their favourite driver or even get the chance to take a photo with them or get their autographs. 

Everyone at the circuit, however, was seen stopping dead in their tracks to check out the 10-minute air show by the Royal Malaysian Air Force. Paddock Club guests also came out of their air-conditioned suites to watch the show.  

Traffic towards the circuit began to slow down at about 11.30am as droves of cars, taxis and buses headed towards it. Banners were hung along the way to indicate which lane they should follow to their designated parking areas.  

As the race ended and the fans had their fill of Formula One fever, some went over to attend the Astro F1 Concert while others headed home. 

As for the teams, they briskly packed up their equipment to head off and prepare for the next race in Bahrain. 

Related Stories:PM pleased with SIC’s efforts Status Quo rocks audience at concert Ex-general does his best to ensure a smooth race 

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