MoF will decide if Malaysian F1 race stays after 2015

Workers getting the Sepang International Circuit ready for this weekend's Malaysian F1 Grand Prix. - BERNAMA

SEPANG: The Finance Ministry will have the final say whether the Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix will continue beyond 2015.

It’s unlikely that this year’s Malaysian GP will be the last as the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) have submitted a three-year deal to continue hosting the prestigious race.

But, as SIC chairman Tan Sri Mokhzani Mahathir said, the final decision on the contract extension lies with the Finance Ministry.

“They’re the stakeholders and what we’re looking for is a win-win situation between the two parties – Formula One Management (FOM) and our side,” he said. 

“There are some finer details we’re going through to make sure we get value for our money in the new contract extension. 

“Formula One has certainly changed a lot compared to when we first hosted it in 1999.

“We’re also looking at the involvement of Petronas with the AMG Mercedes team and it’s important for us to continue making our Formula One race interesting every year and not operate within restrictions.

“A Formula One race has to interact with ticket holders as a sign of the times.”

Mohkzani said that they will make an announcement by this weekend.

The indications are that SIC want the Malaysian GP to continue if the investments in high-definition broadcast systems for race control are of any indication.

“These are the biggest upgrades which the public don’t see. We have changed all the closed-circuit cameras and broadcasting feed to high-definition television,” said Mokhzani.

“The final inspection was made yesterday and we have handed over the circuit to the FOM for this weekend’s event.”

SIC are also optimistic they will get the targeted attendance of at least 70,000 for this weekend.

“Ticket sales are slightly better compared to the corresponding period last year.

“We expect sales to increase by 40% two or three days before the race.”

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