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F1 drivers to pay tribute to missing plane’s victims in Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix

Mar 27, 2014, 4:17 PM EST

Lewis Hamilton will be among F1 drivers who will carry messages honoring those missing on Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 in Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix. Getty Images

Formula One drivers and teams taking part in Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix will pay tribute to the 239 people aboard missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370.

According to BBC.com, drivers will carry¬†messages on their helmets and cars dedicated to the victims¬†during the race. A minute’s silence will also be observed prior to the start of the event.

The fate of the missing plane has cast a definite pall over activities leading up to Sunday’s race, particularly since the runway from which the plane took off of is visible from the main grandstand of the Sepang track the race will be held upon.

“It’s devastating to hear about it,” Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton told BBC.com. “All you can do is pray.”

Added McLaren driver Jenson Button, “It’s good that the whole of the paddock are running tributes. It’s devastating. I really feel for all the families. We will do all we can. It’ll be difficult this weekend for all the Malaysian people.”

The plane disappeared on an overnight flight from Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, to Beijing, China. It is believed the plane may have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, where investigators and potential recovery efforts are focusing their attention.

And, of course, the fate of the plane and its passengers remain at the forefront of most Malaysian residents, which will make Sunday’s race all the more difficult.

“I’ve experienced first hand how everybody in Malaysia is thinking of families and friends,” said Nico Rosberg, who won the season-opening F1 race at Australia two weeks ago. “There are billboards and signs here with people who have put stickers up with messages on them.”

As a result of the national mourning, several festivities have been either cancelled (including a concert with Christina Aguilera and Rain), or scaled back.

BBC.com also reported that while last year’s race was just over two-thirds full (84,000 out of 120,000 seats), due to the lingering pall from the fate of the plane, Sunday’s race may be only one-third full.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

  1. techmeister1 - Mar 27, 2014 at 8:58 PM

    It was absurd of the mass media to chastise the F1 teams for taking their reserved hotels in Malaysia, as if they were doing something improper. The dumbarse media should have done their homework and they’d have known that the hotels are booked a YEAR in advance by the teams and that the HOTEL had the obligation to relocate the families of MH370.

    • worknman24hours - Mar 27, 2014 at 10:36 PM

      Yes, tech but what a great opportunity Formula One missed to show some real heart and sympathy for the Malaysian people gravely affected by this tragedy.

      The worldwide recognition of all the teams who said, “Please be our guests in our hotel rooms as you try to find your relatives.” would have been seen and heard and talked about the world round in astounding, appreciative tones.

      The costs could have been easily written off by the teams as promotional costs in full.

      Instead,F1 has decals on helmets.

      You don’t get a second chance to do the right thing the first time,

  2. jezza819 - Mar 28, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    I would probably guess that there won’t be any spraying of champagne on the podium either.

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