After a request from the racing drivers, Sepang’s circuit officials have agreed to switch the grid structure so that pole position is now on the right-hand-side of the start-finish straight.
Since the circuit’s debut on the F1 calendar, pole position has always been on the left-hand side of the track, following the tradition at most circuits of giving the fastest qualifier the quickest line into the first corner, which in Sepang’s case is the tight right-hand hairpin.
But it is believed that concerns over the marbling of this year’s Pirelli tyres has led to the FIA agreeing to the change.
Sepang is part of the minority of circuits on this year’s calendar where the traditional racing line crosses from one side of the start-finish straight to the other – Shanghai, Spa-Francorchamps and Abu Dhabi are the others where this is evident. But of these, only Spa has its pole position spot on the inside line to its first corner, La Source.