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Malaysia to end F1 Grand Prix hosting after 2018

Malaysia to end F1 Grand Prix hosting after 2018
November 22, 2016

The organisers of the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix have confirmed that the contract for staging the race at Kuala Lumpur’s Sepang International Circuit will not be renewed after it ends in 2018.

Doubts have surrounded the future following a meeting between the Sepang International Circuit shareholders and the Malaysian Government.

The cost to host the race coupled with disappointing ticket sales and television viewing figures has led to calls not to renew its current contract.

Explaining that 2018 will be the last the Malaysian Grand Prix, Malaysia’s Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Abdul Aziz stated “the current agreement is from 2016 to 2018. So once that ends, there will be no more (F1).

“F1 attendance is dropping and there is less attraction now (and) the cost of hosting F1 has increased 10-fold compared to the first time it was held.”

The Sepang race has become a mainstay on the F1 schedule since its inception in 1999 with the Malaysian Government having backed the race to raise the nation’s profile and back its auto industry.

The demise of the F1 race come just weeks after Sepang secured a new deal to host the MotoGP Malaysian Grand Prix until 2021.

The move may reduce pressure on Singapore’s F1 Grand Prix which has also seen reduced attendance in recent years. However, with the prospect of only one F1 race in South East Asia, Grand Prix fans in the region will likely head to Singapore.

Image courtesy of the Sepang International Circuit.

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