Sebastian Vettel has praised Sepang International Circuit ahead of this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix following a repaving of the legendary venue with a high-performance bitumen specifically developed for use on racing circuits.
The four-time World Champion walked the 5.543 km track with his team in preparation for a race at which he has achieved huge success, including four victories and his first win for Ferrari last year.
“I walked the track earlier today and from what I see the track surface looks really good. It’s important these tracks are resurfaced regularly in order to offer us the best possible performance when we are racing and to also ensure the circuit is safe. I believe the new surface is a lot smoother and less aggressive which will help improve tyre wear and better conditions for racing in the wet.
“Malaysia is one of the most demanding circuits on the calendar, especially with such high humidity and temperature, but the bitumen materials are able to stand up to this as well as the forces of 22 Formula One cars racing around the track. I’m looking forward to testing out the new surface for the first time in Free Practice.”
Shell has been providing bitumen solutions to Sepang since it first opened its gates in 1998 and this latest upgrade to the track surface began in February 2016, in order to meet the latest FIA international standards and improve corner driveability for the drivers.
“We have worked very hard to increase the unique quality of the track surface at Sepang Circuit and ensure the performance of the track is optimised for competitive racing. What Shell brings to the table as a bitumen solutions provider is the flexibility to adapt to customised specifications according to the needs of the surface”, said John Read, General Manager for Bitumen Technology at Shell.
“Sepang is one of the most challenging circuits for us to surface given the extreme tropical conditions which occur in Malaysia but we are delighted with the outcome and hope it provides a platform for some fantastic racing during this weekend’s Grand Prix.”
This bitumen solutions have also been used on other Formula One racetracks like Sakhir (Bahrain), Marina Bay Street Circuit (Singapore), Hockenheim (Germany) and Yas Marina (Abu Dhabi).