As Malaysia still struggles to determine the fate of flight MH370, the search and rescue operations media center is being moved to the Putra World Trade Center in Kuala Lumpur this week to make room for the Formula 1 series who have booked the Sama-Sama Hotel and media center.
The Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777-200ER mysteriously disappeared on March 8, 2014 with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board. The missing flight was bound for Beijing. The search has been continuous for 16 days now but has failed to locate the missing jet.
Formula 1 pulls into town under the unfortunate crisis in order to run the Malaysian Grand Prix and this has caused Chinese relatives of the passengers of missing flight MH370 to change hotels in order to accommodate the F1 teams and drivers.
“We will be moving out of here because the F1 race is going to go on,” Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told Reuters.
The grand prix was first held in 1999 at the Sepang International Circuit that is about 10 minutes from the airport. Ferrari driver Eddie Irvine won the inaugural grand prix in 1999 but Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel are all three-time winners of the race. Schumacher had just returned to the sport after suffering a broken leg to prove that he was not only the sport’s best number one driver but the best number two driver in support of Irvine in 1999.
No doubt there are other hotels but I can’t imagine the relatives of those missing are very happy about the inconvenience and this is ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix in a few weeks time in Shanghai. Crisis can sometimes shed reality on events that seem inconsequential given the gravity of the situation and yet Malaysia relies on the income and tourism the race generates as they have made a large investment in the hosting fees for the grand prix.
Having said that, I am sure the F1 community is very concerned about the situation in Malaysia and will honor those grieving during the grand prix weekend and more.