Ahead of today’s Malaysian Grand Prix, the Formula 1 paddock has held one minute of silence in honor of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared 22 days ago whilst en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.
With Malaysia’s focus lying mainly with the search for the missing airline, the sport has arrived at a tough period in the nation’s history and is looking to provide some light at a very dark time.
All of the teams and drivers are carrying tributes to the airline and its 239 passengers on their helmets and cars, showing the support that the sport is looking to provide at this time.
As part of the pre-race programme race on Sunday, one minute of silence was held before the Malaysian national anthem in honor of the passengers and crew that were on board flight MH370.
A number of concerts and events that had been planned in Kuala Lumpur as part of the Formula 1 programme were cancelled earlier this week as the nation continues to mourn in the wake of the flight’s disappearance.
“Our thoughts are with those who are missing, their loved ones and the tireless rescue workers,” an announcer said to the fans. “In their honor, the Prime Minister of Malaysia and the chairman of F1 Bernie Ecclestone and the teams will now lead a one minute silence.”
Following the minute’s silence, the Malaysian national anthem rang out over Sepang, with the national flag held at half mast.
Speaking earlier this week, Sepang International Circuit CEO Dato Razlan Razali said: “The Formula One fraternity recognizes and sympathizes with what we’re all going through.”
Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.