The Sepang International Circuit (Malay: Litar Antarabangsa Sepang) can legitimately lay claim to having established the template for all modern Grand Prix circuits in the twenty-first century.
The track, which was built specifically for Formula One, opened in 1998 ahead of its first season of racing and hosted the Malaysian Grand Prix for 19 seasons before deciding to focus its top-tier efforts on two-wheeled sports. It is still the home of the Malaysian MotoGP and is a very popular race on the calendar.
The track has been extensively resurfaced in recent years to try and avoid the worst of the track flooding that has marred some previous events. It is known for its unpredictable humid tropical weather, ranging from clear furnace hot days to tropical rain storms.
The track has 15 corners and eight straights with a minimum width of 16 metres and a maximum width of 20 metres in some areas, allowing for several good overtaking opportunities. The track can hold 130,000 spectators in total, with 30,000 in the unique double-fronted main grandstand.
The construction began in December 1996 and lasted 14 months, costing RM286 million (US $12 million). At times, the site was staffed by over 1,000 people. The new circuit was finished in November 1998 and hosted its first race the following month before being officially opened by Dr Mahathir in March 1999.