It’s been an eventful two days at Sepang International Circuit, where the finale of the FIA Formula One Grand Prix is taking place. In a bizarre twist to the day, none of the nine race cars made it to the finish line at the third FIA Formula 4 Southeast Asia Championship event.
As reported by Motorsport.com, a reshuffling of the timetable caused by the broken drain incident cut short Formula One’s free practice (FP2) session.
This caused race two and three of the Formula 4 (F4) event to run back-to-back on Saturday morning.
In the second race, cars began running out of fuel, way before the end.
Danial Frost, who had built up a good lead in P1, grinded to a halt along with three other cars on lap six. Three more cars stopped on lap seven in the eight-lap race.
Subsequently, race organisers called out the safety car as cars were stranded in dangerous positions around the circuit.
The only car left in the race on the penultimate lap was Kane Shepherd. But despite his attempts to slowly finish the race, he too ran out of fuel as he exited Turn 2.
He may have been at pole position but Shepherd didn’t win the race. Race organisers decided that due to the circumstance of everyone running out of fuel, the race was called off after five laps.
Frost, being in the lead by the end of lap five, was declared the winner.
Apparently, the bizarre blunder stemmed from a miscalculation on how much the cars needed to complete both races. With the unexpected event of the races running back-to-back, there was no refueling between races.
Peter Thompson, the chairman of series organizer Asian Autosport action said later, “I apologise unreservedly for the results of race three.”
2017-2018 FIA F4 SEA Championship
The F4 SEA Championship is one of 12 worldwide championships in the FIA’s global format, and is one of the support races for the Malaysian GP.
There are five legs this year–kicking off with Malaysia this week; followed by Clark International Speedway, Philippines (20-22 Oct); Sentul International Circuit, Indonesia (24-26 Nov); Buriram International Circuit, Thailand (12-14 Jan ’18); and Sepang, Malaysia (9-11 Feb ’18).
Sixteen year-old Isyraf Danish Mohd Ghazali, the champion in last season’s inaugural championship has set his sights on the crown this season.