The Scuderia Ferrari Driver and four-time World Champion’s comments came just moments after he walked the 5.543 km track with his team ahead of a race at which he has achieved so much success including four victories and his first win for Scuderia Ferrari last year.

Shell has been providing bitumen solutions to the Sepang International Circuit 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.

Sebastian said: “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 that Shell offer 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.”

John Read, General Manager for Bitumen Technology at Shell, said: “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.

“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.”

For more information around the circuit repaving you can view and share a video by clicking here.


Oliver Lim

Shell Bitumen Global
+ 65 6477 7499

Notes to Editors

  • Shell Bitumen’s solutions have also been used on a number of Formula One racetracks: Sakhir (Bahrain), Marina Bay Street Circuit (Singapore), Hockenheim (Germany) and Yas Marina (Abu Dhabi)
  • Shell is a leader in bitumen technology, and recently published the “Shell Bitumen Handbook, Sixth Edition”, which covers the latest topics in bitumen technology and application
  • Shell Bitumen operates a network of Regional Technical Centres located in key regions (Beijing, China, Strasbourg, France, and Bangkok, Thailand.) Shell has also established its global bitumen R&D Centre in Bangalore, India
  • Shell supplies a wide range of high quality bitumen products, from standard-grade bitumen to special polymer-modified bitumen (PMB), which are marketed under the brand name Shell Cariphalte. Shell Cariphalte has been used in a number of iconic projects for applications such as highways, urban roads and porous asphalts for urban drainage systems. It is ideal for use in heavily trafficked locations such as airfields, racetracks and bus lanes. It can be particularly beneficial in heavy duty applications such as rail, ports, bridge decks, crack relief systems or overlaying concrete pavements and expansion joints
  • Shell is the world’s largest bitumen marketer, and delivers enough bitumen to pave a one-lane kilometre road every four minutes.

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