Welcome to the Definitive Track Guide to Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.
In this track guide, Driver 61’s pro-driver, Scott Mansell, uses onboard footage from Dan Wells to explain in-depth Sepang’s racing lines, braking references and everything you need to know to be fast at this highly technical circuit.
The Sepang circuit is 5.5km in length and consists of 15 turns. It’s a mix of slow and high-speed corners, combining to create a track that’s difficult to be quick at. This guide to Sepang will help you master the circuit ready for your next track day or race.
The Sepang circuit guide begins with the difficult Turn 1. Here, late braking is the key to saving time, and there are plenty of references. The line through Turn 1 is always a compromise, but it’s important to get most of the way back over to the right, to set yourself up for Turn 2 at Sepang.
Turn 2 at the Sepang circuit is a tight left where the exit is important, as explained in the video guide. The circuit drops away just before the apex and can easily generate a mistake, so be patient.
Turn 3 is an acceleration zone that’s relatively easy in cars with downforce, but in more powerful GT cars can be a challenge. The right-hander is long, so as I explain in the circuit guide, be sure to keep your vision a long way ahead and looking for the exit kerbing.
Sepang’s Turn 4 is of the more simple corners, with relatively easy to spot braking references and a big step in the apex kerb. You can run beyond the kerb here, on to the grass blocking, but be careful in single-seaters and prototypes.
We then head up and downhill before one of Sepang’s most difficult sections. As explained in the track guide, the racing line here needs to have a gentle turn-in. The circuit is off-camber and the apex is late, making it really easy to spin. You’ll find time in being extremely smooth with the steering and pedals.
Turn 6 quickly follows 5, where you will have to compromise slightly to ensure a decent entry. Once the car is at the apex the rest of turn 6 is relatively straightforward.
There’s a short straight before turns 7 and 8, which is basically a double apex right-hander. You can brake reasonably late and carry a lot of speed to the first apex. Be careful on these two kerbs here, as they can easily unbalance the car and push it wide. If you run out to the exit kerb between the two apexes, you’ll find it hard to get back to the second apex, as explained in the circuit guide. Only use half of the exit kerb after the second apex, as the outer half slopes away – if you run on it it’ll pull you onto the run-off area.
After a medium length straight we have the hairpin left of turn 9. There are plenty of markers on the right as shown in the video guide, but the difficulty is at the apex. The corner goes uphill and there’s a crest at the apex, which causes most cars to oversteer – you’ll need to be patient on the throttle to reduce this.
Once you’ve exited turn 9, the circuit travels uphill and you’re instantly into turn 10. It’s basically a curved acceleration zone, but no matter what type of car I’m in it’s always very challenging to complete flat-out. As explained in the Sepang video circuit guide, good vision is once more critical here, as precise positioning is key.
The braking for turn 11 is tricky as you’re still coming out of turn 10 and so have a reasonable amount of steering angle in the car. As we know, when the car is not straight, it will not decelerate as quickly as possible. You’ll need to gently increase brake pressure, to transfer the load smoothly and not cause too much oversteer. Once you’ve made it to the apex of turn 11, the exit is relatively simple.
Turns 12 and 13 are probably my favourite of all at Sepang. The high-speed left-right demands confidence. Vision is very important here as well as again being very smooth with the steering and pedals, make sure you ‘bleed’ off them.
Once you’re through turn 13, we’re directly into the braking zone of 14. Again, this is a highly technical section of the circuit where you’re turning and decelerating at the same time. It’s very easy to make a mistake and requires a lot of feel to perfect. As explained in the circuit guide, be sure keep your vision a long way around the corner, right on the apex and be very smooth with your inputs. The exit of turn 14 is critical to lap time as it’s followed by a very long straight.
It’s important to brake as late as possible for turn 15, and there are lots of braking references so it’s quite simple to find the perfect spot. You can ‘v’ the corner off, meaning that you can brake later and get a better exit – which is important as the next straight is another long one.
For much, much more detail please watch the Sepang International Circuit video circuit guide. To learn about driving technique, take a look at the Driver’s University.