The initial news was that the Sepang International Circuit will not be renewing their deal with F1 after 2018, so we still had two more years to go. The contract they have signed is from 2016 until 2018.
However, a recent statement on Prime Minister Najib Razak’s Facebook page clarified and confirmed that 2017 will be the last year that Malaysia will host the event, after a 19-year run.
“The Cabinet has agreed to end the contract to host F1 races from 2018 as it is evident that the returns are diminishing compared to the costs of hosting it,” the prime minister said, according to the statement.
So what happens to the Sepang International Circuit from now on? And what about the funds allocated for F1? Where will it go?
During a live Instagram video on Monday (10th of April), Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin was asked what would happen to the funds allocated for the F1 race — now that Malaysia is pulling the plug.
“That’s a very good question.” the minister commented. “It was a tough decision to pull the plug, but it was about time. The returns are not great, viewership has gone down.”
“The money allocated for F1 will be given to the drivers for private development. We will invest more in the drivers, like Jazemann, Akash Nandy, and more. We want to give more to the drivers.” the minister explained.
Investing more in young drivers is always a good thing — it will give them a chance to get world-class training and improve their skills as race car drivers.
Hopefully they can represent Malaysia and win in future F1 events!