Malaysian Grand Prix Betting

Motor racing has been popular in Malaysia since the early 1960s, prior to Singapore leaving the federation and when a Formula 2 Grand Prix event was held at the Thomson Road circuit on Singapore Island. Between 1968 and 1995, racing tournaments were hosted at the Shah Alam Circuit, also known as Batu Tiga Speedway. Major events included legs of the Tasman Series, Formula pacific, Formula Two and Formula Holden.

In March 1999, racing in Malaysia zoomed forward as a new state-of-the-art track was opened 85 kilometers north of the nation’s capital near Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Named the Sepang International Circuit, it was constructed with Formula One racing in mind, featuring a 5.543-kilometre track with fifteen turns and eight straights and allowing speeds in excess of 300km/h.

When filled to capacity, the facility can accommodate 130,000 spectators at once. The Main Grandstand stretches out along the start/finish straight for 1,300 metres. Its east-west alignment ensures shade from the tropical sun, and it also contains 18 air-conditioned corporate suites that can host up to 32,000 race-goers. Grandstands K and F facing turns 1 and 7, respectively, can each hold 18,500 spectators.

Sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the first Malaysia Grand Prix for F1 racing was held here on October 17, 1999 as the fifteenth leg of that year’s Formula One season. Finishing the 56-lap spectacle first was Britain’s Eddie Irvine with his German teammate Michael Schumacher with right behind, both driving Ferraris.

After the race, FIA officials disqualified the vehicles for not meeting technical specifications and awarded the win to third-lace finisher Mika Häkkinen of Finland. Ferrari appealed the decision successfully, however, and the original results were reinstated.

Schumacher would go on to win the Malaysian Grand Prix on three occasions (2000, 2001 and 2004), making him the only driver in the history of the race to pull off the hat trick. Ferrari would get its fifth victory here in 2008 with Finland’s Kimi Räikkönen behind the wheel to lead all constructors on the Sepang track.

Owing to heavy rains in the autumn, which almost caused abandonment of the 2001 edition, the event was moved up to spring in 2002, taking the second spot on the Formula One calendar after Australia. From the onset, the Malaysian Grand Prix has been sponsored by Petroliam Nasional Berhad, the country’s gas and oil company, better known as Petronas. Beginning with 2011 race held in April, a slight change was made to the name of the race, and it is now called the Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix.

Although the race itself is conducted on a Sunday, there are three full days of events for spectators to attend and bettors to consider in their handicapping. The Friday and Saturday before the race, the track is open for three practice sessions plus qualifying laps. The field is limited to the 24 fastest entries.

Much of the wagering on the Malaysia Grand Prix is ante post, selecting the outright winner among F1 drivers and constructors. Once the starting positions are known, heavy betting will follow whoever holds the pole position at considerably lower odds than will be available weeks before the racers start their engines.

To achieve higher payouts, many bettors look to dual forecasts, choosing two drivers in the race to finish first and second, in either order. Other markets available include who will be standing on the podium at the race’s end (top three finishers), who will finish in the points (top ten finishers), who will retire first from the race, what the fastest official lap speed will be, and more. Pre-race bets can be placed on who will be the fastest qualifier, too.

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