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Posts for Tag: Tourism Malaysia

2015 Tourism Malaysia Event - An Evening to remember!

Tourism Malaysia have always been gracious. I had the privilege of attending the 2012 and 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix and was awed by the amazing hospitality shown to me in 2013.

This year too Tourism Malaysia invited me to their event held at SMAAASH Mumbai which was aimed at promoting not just the 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix held at Sepang but also Malaysia as a tourist destination, a destination worth visiting more than just once.

The event was held on 26th February 2015 with a Go-Karting Contest aptly named "Race to Sepang".

Shots of the Track :

I have been a regular here and its always been fun driving on this challenging but narrow track!

Shots from the Event :

Ma'am Sharmila ( Representing the Sepang International Circuit ) welcoming us and sharing the variety of value offerings at Sepang International Circuit.

Statistics and Spectator Turnout from previous events held at the Sepang International Circuit ( F1, MotoGP, SBK and their likes )

The Regional Tours undertaken by Tourism Malaysia for the promotion of the 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix

The Director of Tourism Malaysia - Mr. Manoharan welcoming us to the event and sharing the beauty of Malaysia as a destination and the importance of an Indian Audience to the various events held at the Sepang International Circuit.

The Winners of the Contest. I was beaten by 0.5 seconds to the Fastest time of the Day. The Team ( consisting of 6 Randomly chosen drivers ) with the best average time over a 3 minute session were chosen to travel to Malaysian for the 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix.

In all my travels I must admit that Tourism Malaysia has been proactive and involved  in generating an interest for Formula 1 in India and inviting fans to Malaysia to experience both the Malaysian Hospitality and the Race held at Sepang.

Sepang as a circuit has produced some amazing races in F1 and I am sure that 2015 would not fail to disappoint.

I missed the opportunity to be at the 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix but if offered a chance again, I would join the contingent without any hesitation.

Malaysia - Truly the Face of Asian Hospitality!


Surprises come in many packages and I have been at the received end of some in the recent past.

God Blessed me with some great experiences in the past year and I have had the opportunity to write about them.

2013 started off with a bang and the 2012 fairytale still continues.

Tourism Malaysia ( India ) have always been gracious in offering great prizes. They have maintained this trend whenever the Formula 1 Grand Prix has come to Sepang International Circuit and this year was no different.

A hard but fair battle was fought and there was a winner at the end of the day and Thank God I was the fortunate one, albeit by the skin of my teeth!!

Tourism Malaysia would award me an all expenses paid trip to Malaysia to enjoy the Malaysian Grand Prix!!!

It was time to pack my bags and embark on the journey!!

I flew out on 22nd March 2013 and arrived in Kuala Lumpur Late Evening.

Tourism Malaysia had offered me a fantastic hotel in KL Sentral ( the Hub in Kuala Lumpur ). The Hotel inauguration was on the same day.

A Starwood Property, The Aloft is the new 5 Star in the Heart of KL!!

The Hotel was gracious enough to offer me an upgrade too as I am an SPG Gold member!

The Room was a spacious one and had a fresh feel to it. Some of the shots of my room :

The View from My Room :

Some views from the Passageway :

23rd March 2013 :

The Excitement couldn't be contained. A quick breakfast and I was on my way to the Sepang International Circuit to the see the Saturday Practice and Qualifying for the Race.

En Route to Sepang :

Malaysia Leaves No Stone Unturned in Welcoming Racing Fans!!

The Tourism Malaysia Pavilion at the Circuit!

The Circuit is very close to KLIA and temperatures easily touch the Mid 40s

After a Tiring but Exciting Day at Sepang, it was time to return to the Hotel

( For More on the Saturday action visit : )

However before I made my way back to the Hotel, I had the opportunity to test my racing skills at an International Karting Circuit at Sepang and believe me I was unwilling to leave the place!! I kept racing for almost an hour and thoroughly enjoyed every moment.

It was a long drive back and after a nice refreshing shower, I made my way down to the Coffee Shop for an elegant meal laid out. I also had the opportunity of meeting representatives of Tourism Malaysia!!

I had some time to explore and burn some calories after the meal. The Aloft is known as a party hotel. It envisages the vision of the W Group of Hotels and one can see the evidence of the same!

The Hotel Facade :

The Re:Mix Lounge :

The Hotel Reception & Business Centre :

The WXYZ Bar :

24th March 2013, THE BIG DAY!!

Post Breakfast, I joined the group consisting of executives invited by Tourism Malaysia and we made our way down to Sepang for the Race!

A Moment with the Director of Tourism Malaysia!! A Very Gracious and Kind Man. Thank you Sir for all the Hospitality!!

It was now time to prepare for the Racing Extravaganza!!

( To Read all about the Sunday action visit : )

An Exciting day at the Circuit! Thank you Sepang International Circuit for such a memorable race!!

25th March 2013

I chose to spend my final day shopping at my favourite SURIA KLCC Mall!

Enroute to Suria KLCC :

It was time to drive back to the Airport and return home... 

At the Airport ( KLIA ) :

Sitting in the Lounge, I awaited my flight for Mumbai :

Bye Bye Malaysia ! Thank you so much for all the Hospitality !!

Malaysia = Truly Asia !!

I would like to thank Tourism Malaysia ( India ) for this amazing experience. I shall cherish it. A Big Thank you to the Aloft at KL Sentral for all the Hospitality and maintaining the Quality that Starwood has been renowned for !

A Big Thank you to Mr. Amit Tripathi of Beehive Communication for all the co-operation shown in making my trip preparations a breeze.

Thank you so much Tourism Malaysia!! Hopefully I shall return for the Malaysian Grand Prix in 2014!!!

Malaysian GP 2013, Vettel defies Mutli 21

Tourism Malaysia have always been gracious and they simply move up a gear when the Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix draws near.

Every Year, Tourism Malaysia offer Racing Fans Free Tickets to witness the action unfold at the Sepang International Circuit. I was a beneficiary last year and a bigger surprise was in store for me this year.

Tourism Malaysia India hosted a game where a Fan had to answer questions as the car moved around the track. The quicker you answered, better the lap time.

The Grand Prize? An All-Expenses-Paid Trip to witness the Malaysian Grand Prix. The effort paid off as I emerged the winner.

Thanks to Tourism Malaysia, I was at Sepang again. Hope you enjoy the photos from the weekend!


Welcome to Sepang International Circuit!

The Stunning Mercedes Petronas AMG Formula 1 Car!!

I reached the Stand. It was the K1 Grandstand with Fantastic Views of the Start Finish Line, First Couple of Turns and Parts of the Other Sectors too.

View from the K1 Grandstand :

The Start of Saturday Practice saw the teams take a cautious approach into the session.

Finally The Drivers started their Qualifying Simulations

Kimi Raikkonen, Full Focus into First Turn :

Others Follow Suit :

The Two Sister Red Bulls switch roles :

Feeling the Force of a Force India :

The Ferraris were late entrants but everyone knows the Threat they pose to the Front-Runners.

First Turn is very demanding on all cars. Its an acute turn and one can suffer heavy lock-ups if a car has too much speed into the corner.

The Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen looks absolutely stunning :

Some more shots of the Prancing Horse :

The Sauber of Hulkenberg, the German's First race after problems in the first race.

With the Race Simulations done & the sun out, , the Teams switched to the Softer of the Harder Compounds
The Toro Rosso and Williams in Tandem :

Where is Romain Grosjean looking?

Lewis Hamilton negotiating the First Turn

The Practice session ended and it was time for the V8 Supercars to take centrestage :

It was now time for Qualifying!!!

Shots from Q1 :

The Teams all opted for the Hard Tyre. Some Teams however switched to the Medium Hard option fearing elimination at the end of Q1.

The Times came down quickly, the gap between the two tyres a sizable 1.5 seconds. The Bigger teams too were pushed into using the Option compound in Q1 itself.

Q1 ended and the predicted guys were eliminated.

Q2 Began and all teams went out on Option Tyres, some teams opted for a 2 run strategy with scrubbed options for the First Stint.

Mark Webber too came out early for Red Bull Racing to set a marker :

Vettel too followed suit :

Lewis Hamilton
suffered a major Lock-up into Turn 1 with Fernando Alonso breathing down his neck :

Massa made a late entry into the session :

Q2 ended and the Top 10 now prepared for a final Shootout!

There was a big surprise on the way though!! Malaysia is known for drastic weather changes and the clouds that threatened finally caused the deluge over the circuit in the break.

It was a short shower but certain parts of the track were wet enough for Teams to opt for Intermediate Tyres.

Sebastien Vettel vs Fernando Alonso!

Fernando Alonso starts his Flying Lap :

Nico Rosberg flying in Sector 2 :

Kimi Raikkonen dives into the pits for a new set of Intermediates while Lewis Hamilton sets a time :

Kimi starts his final Qualifying Run :

Mark Webber and Sebastien Vettel too went on their final runs :

Sebastien Vettel, Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso were the top 3 starters for the Race!


The Big Day had arrived. It was a great way to start the proceedings by bumping into Kimi Raikkonen Fans!!

The Rain Clouds gathering in the Horizon... Could this be a Wet Race??

The Grid Preparations begin!!

Safety Car carries out a Track Check :

The Rain came in sooner than we thought and like last year it was time to bring out the Gazebos for the Teams

The Drivers leave the pitlane on their outlap, Intermediate tyres for everyone. The Rain in Q3 ensured Free Tyre Choice for Everyone.

Charles Pic sampled the Wet Tyre too but the Track wasn't so wet and everyone stuck to Intermediates.

The Grandstands were packed to the Rafters as the Start Neared..

The Safety Car did a final track check, the final preparations were done and it was now time for the Warm-up Lap!

The Start of the Warm Up Lap while the team engineers rush back to their garages!

The Five Red Lights Illuminate and the Race is a GO!!!

There was a collision between Alonso and Vettel into the First Turn which damaged the Former's Front Wing. The Spaniard managed to defend his 2nd place against Webber ( who had a fabulous start ) and opted not to pit to change the Front Wing.

The Decision was disastrous as the Front Wing Dislodged and got stuck under the car. Alonso was a mere passenger as his Ferrari beached itself into the Gravel near the First turn ( Right in front of our stand )

The Track dried up quickly enough and the Teams were quick to switch back to dry tyres. Drivers chose different strategies. Vettel switched to the Mediums ( Option ) while Webber opted for the Hard Tyre ( Prime ).

Hulkenberg battles it out with Button

Sergio Perez is passed by Grosjean with the aid of DRS and then has to fend off Kimi Raikkonen.

had two Front wing changes ( one in his Outlap and one in the start of the race ). The Venezuelan was now carving his way up the field.

Perez makes his car as wide as possible to prevent Kimi Raikkonen from an overtake

The Force India Team Mates too had a duel

There was racing happening throughout the field which was great for Fans

Hulkenberg watching his mirrors as he sees the Ferrari of Massa and the Lotuses of Grosjean and Raikkonen close in.

Kimi was having a tough weekend but he kept at it.

Grosjean though was having a better weekend. He is seen here reeling Massa in.

Vettel was being closed in on by Hamilton and it seemed that the Mercedes  Petronas AMG Team might just get more than just a podium but unfortunately Lewis was asked to conserve fuel and his challenge fizzled out.

Vettel was now allowed to push and the lead that Mark Webber had was slowly being cut down. Mark Webber meanwhile was told to switch to Multi - 21, a code used in the Red Bull team which signifies reducing the engine power, maintaining positions and coasting to the finish line.

Hulkenberg meanwhile was still flanked by the Lotuses

Pastor Maldonado's Miserable day came to an end when he Beached his Williams into the Gravel

The Red Bull pair completed their Pit Stops and Webber was just able to hold on to his lead against Vettel. ( Lap 44 ).
The two battled over the next two laps, including a very close call on the front straight, after which Vettel took the lead from his teammate. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner earlier came on the radio to say, "This is silly Seb(astian). Come on."
The Team tried to notify Vettel that they wanted both to keep their current positions. However Vettel chose otherwise and the repercussions were disastrous.

Hamilton's fuel conserving drive caused him to fall into the grasp of his teammate Nico Rosberg. Nico requested the team to let him pass his teammate as he felt he could challenge the Red Bulls. However Team Principal Ross Brawn denied him his wish and both were asked to maintain their positions.

Sebastien Vettel took the Chequered Flag and Victory at the 2013 Malaysian GP. Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton completed the Podium. Nico Rosberg felt he was robbed of a podium and hoped that the team would return the favour one day.

Trouble brewed
between the Red Bull Team-mates as Webber took digs at Vettel in the Podium Interview and gave him the snub later. Unfortunately it seems an end to a mercurial relation between the team-mates.

A Big Thumbs-up!!

The Fans had a memorable day but the race would also be remembered for its Controversial incidents...

Malaysia had done a fabulous job again of Hosting the Grand Prix!!! Well done Malaysia!!

I would like to thank Tourism Malaysia again for this memorable experience. I absolutely loved it and will be back next year too.

I shall be writing again about this trip. So watch this space!!!