Congratulations to Nico Rosberg, who was recently crowned as the 2016 Formula One champion, a title well earned after battling with teammates and closest rival Lewis Hamilton for so many years.
KY & Nico Rosberg, 2013
Nico also promptly announced his retirement, which came as a complete surprise to most everyone, but ultimately it was a decision that few can make, to go out on the top and to put his family first an foremost in his mind. The first father & son champion.
I was very lucky to be part of an event back in 2013 where Nico & Lewis raced in a small strip of road at Putrajaya on a couple Mercedes A250 cars. When a seat opened, I jumped in and had a time of my life with Nico as our driver racing with Hamilton. I’ll forever cherish that special moment being in a car driven by an eventual Formula One champion.
Nico in a Mercedes A250
The photos and video were kept as a draft that was never published of this blog due to various reasons, but I thought it’s the perfect time to do so. After all, this is my place on the internet where I keep significant memories.
A few days before the Malaysia GP at Sepang International Circuit where Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 team finished one-two with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, there was another race at KLCC park with the two drivers, and we were among the few who was invited to the event.
Before that, I would like to congratulate the two drivers for the historic win. It was the first one-two by the Mercedes factory team since 1955!
Nico Rosberg and team, with Lewis giving advise?
This was an invitation where top scorers from the PETRONAS Primax Challenge facebook game got to claim their prize – teaming up with the F1 drivers for an up close and personal session playing the final round of the game.
team Lewis working hard
After some intense driving (with the keyboard), Nico’s team, with his partner Kenny, won over Lewis’s team in the challenge. It was a fun and relaxing session, I can’t imagine what must go through the drivers’ mind as they are getting ready for the weekend’s race.
interview with Raja Mazhar Mohar Bin Raja Tun Mohar
We also got the opportunity to have a chat with Raja Mazhar Mohar Bin Raja Tun Mohar, head of PETRONAS Customer Experience Department. He explained that the fuel used in the Formula 1 cars basically used the same base as those we find at every PETRONAS station, except with a higher RON rating of about 100 (we can get PRIMAX 95 and 97).
Through this partnership, PETRONAS also came up with higher quality lubricant that can penetrate the thinner crevices of the Formula 1 engine. The same fuel and lubricant (SYNTIUM) is used in every circuit on the calendar, and PETRONAS PRIMAX fuel powered every race for the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 team.
the PETRONAS Team with Lewis Hamilton & Nico Rosberg
During the session, we also discussed about how PETRONAS view their fuelling stations as something more than a place where you only go when your tank runs empty, and this is achieve by adding other conveniences like the Mesra store, partnership with banks in hosting their ATMs.
He also mentioned how PETRONAS is committed to improving the customer experience by constantly finding ideas to enhance their service.
At the end of the session, we asked him about Sunday’s race. The man predicted a one-two with Lewis coming ahead, and boy he was right.
F1 season is dawn upon us again, and last in conjunction with the Formula 1 race at Sepang International Circuit, PETRONAS Motorsport put up a show at KLCC area for the racing fans a weekend prior.
I was lucky enough to be invited as a member of media to this prestigious event and got to meet Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg up close and personal yet again!
PETRONAS F1 Demo Run, 2014
The roads outside KLCC was cordoned off with hospitality tent and spectator stands set up just for this event. If you’re a petrol head, this was something that you would absolutely love.
For those who are familiar with F1’s new regulation going with the 1.6 turbo engine for the 2014 season, this event was also one of the last chances to witness and to hear the high revving engine of the F1 racing car’s engine from 2013. It was absolutely thrilling and ear-drum shattering experience.
the 2013 Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 race car being prep
The event started with track inspection by drivers and riders while the technical team gets busy preparing the racing cars and bikes. The F1 car in a beautiful machine if you ever get to see one up close and personal. Every piece of body work serves a purpose, giving the car more downforce, dispersing heat, and so forth.
Stunt show by Aaron Twite and Nick Brocher
The first show that came on was the stunt riding by Aaron Twite and Nick Brocher.
They could do things on bikes I wouldn’t even dare on bicycle. The two experts did plenty of wheelies, stoppies, making donuts, and even standing on top of their heavily modified Triumph Speed Triple’s fuel tanks.
It was an awesome show of talent. I was very impressed.
Mercedes DTM safety car demo
Next up was the Mercedes DTM safety car heading out on the street. While technically not a racing car, this is still a mean machine capable of exhilarating speed with an impressive exhaust note. I love the livery of Syntium gold with PETRONAS green.
The DTM car was driven by Daniel Juncadella, and a few lucky participant got a taxi ride in it too. I can only imagine the G force that machine can pull.
PETRONAS AAM Malaysian Cub Prix bikes
On two wheels, we had PETRONAS AAM Malaysian Cub Prix Championship bikes doing their rounds. They include PETRONAS Yamaha riders such as Md Affendi Rosli, Shariffudin Shamsuddin, Ahmad Fazli Sham, Abdul Muhaimin Roslan, Md Izrul Huzaimie Amran, and Md Azam Omar.
These are the names that could rise up the rank to compete in bigger cc bike categories in the future.
Pillion Ride session with professional rider Shahrol Yuzy
They said lighting doesn’t strike the same place twice, but I was lucky enough to be chosen as a pillion rider again (I did last year too!).
Shahrol Yuzy was yet again our rider. We donned full leather and complete safety gears, then hang on to dear life while Shahrol rode the 600cc Supersport Yamaha bike up to 210 km/h right in front of KLCC.
There were light rain last year and I think we went a bit slower, the condition this year was perfect so he went all out. I sweated a bucket load, but the experience was awesome!
Asia Cup series race car & F1 drivers taxi ride
Another racing vehicle that got on the road was the Asia Cup series race car. That “baby F1” machine was not any less impressive.
A few lucky guys, including my buddy Willy, got to be passengers in taxi rides driven by Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton in Mercedes A45 AND Mercedes A250 respectively as well. It was surely an experience of a life time.
Nico and Lewis also demonstrated the F1 routine in PETRONAS PRIMAX fuelling session, the only time we get to see this up close and personal with KLCC as the backdrop.
Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, after demo run with F1 race car
The two professional drivers then showcased their skills on the F1 race car as well, racing down Jalan Ampang in front of KLCC and burning tyres doing spins right at the intersection of Jalan Ampang and Jalan P. Ramlee. An impressive sight to say the least.
Lewis Hamilton introduced as PETRONAS Primax’s Technical Performance Consultant
At the event, Lewis Hamilton was also announced as PETRONAS Primax’s Technical Performance Consultant. In this role, Hamilton, together with his team of experts will provide input to the PETRONAS team to continue innovate PETRONAS PRIMAX to deliver greater efficiency and performance.
PETRONAS PRIMAX fuel is the result of the knowledge, technology and innovation obtained through the PETRONAS Fluid Technology SolutionsTM (FTS), a formula that maximises engine performance, available at over 1000 PETRONAS stations nationwide.
It was safe to say that the drivers had a great week in Malaysia, as they ended up finishing One-Two in Malaysia Grand Prix!
You can feel the presence of Formula 1 in KL around this time of the year ever since the inaugural F1 race at Sepang in 1999. The week leading to the race is often dotted with events that give racing fans chances to get closer to the cars and race drivers many of us admire.
The PETRONAS Mercedes AMG “Meet and Greet” session with Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton was one of such premier events in KLCC.
Mercedes AMG PETRONAS Formula 1 showcase at KLCC
While my office is just a short walk away and made getting to the event relatively easy, many fans traveled pretty far and braved the KL traffic to get a chance to be up close and personal to the drivers.
The 2013 Mercedes AMG Formula One car – F1 W04 were on display as well, looking gorgeous in silver and green. I think the much discussed “platypus” nose of the 2013 cars actually looked good on this one.
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at KLCC concourse
At around 10 past 5, the drivers came out to greet the fans. Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton genuinely looked very happy to be greeting the fans, and mentioned that Sepang is one of their favorite race tracks to be competing on.
Lewis Hamilton had a 3rd place finished at Sepang last year, I guess he’ll be hoping to improve on that record this time around.
meet and greet session, the drivers were signing autographs for racing fans
After a brief Q&A session with the emcee, the drivers took their seats on the podium and signed their autographs on cards/t-shirts/caps and basically anything else fans requested. The line for the autograph session actually started forming more than 2 hours before the event and by 5 pm it was a huge queue snaking around the concourse area.
me with Michelle, Tian Chad, Joyce, Gareth, and Ernest. Got the autographs too!
Lucky for me, I got to see Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton and flesh and got myself their autographs too. Best of luck to these two gentlemen on race day at Sepang. Go PETRONAS Mercedes AMG!