TICKET prices for the Malaysian Grand Prix next year will come down as race promoters and organisers Sepang International Circuit (SIC) continue to look into ways to make the event a well attended one.
It is also part of efforts to ensure that Malaysia is not a stop to be missed for the overseas fans, especially when increasing attention shifts to Asia.
South Korea will stage a first-ever F1 race in October, making it the seventh Asian country to do so after Japan, Malaysia, China, Bahrain, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.
And it is possible that one more European stop will have to make way as India is confirmed to be given a slot on the calendar next year. The SIC chief executive officer, Razlan Razali, said that it should not affect them much but the challenge on their part was to make sure the Malaysian GP stayed relevant.
The 12th edition of the Malaysian GP ended last Sunday with Red Bull Racing emerging triumphant for the first time.
Some 97,800 fans were present to watch Sebastian Vettel leading Mark Webber home for to a 1-2 finish.
It was a drama-filled afternoon the previous day as big teams Ferrari and McLaren ended on the back row of the grid after the qualifying sessions were hit by heavy rain.
“As we see, there are plenty of elements to make our race interesting. Now we have to start planning for next year and we will review all ticket prices,” said Razlan.
“It is to make the Malaysian GP more accessible to everybody and we want to ensure more Malaysians get in touch with the sport.
“My hope was to get 100,000 to come on race day and we were just a bit short of reaching the target.
“We have to work on volume to get the fans in and my hope is to see the stands filled in future Malaysian GPs.
“If Air Asia’s tagline is ‘Everybody can fly’, the SIC should have something like ‘Everybody can watch the race’.”
Grandstand ticket prices went for between RM500 and RM2,650 and the cheapest ticket was RM100 for the hillstands.
Razlan added that the circuit in Sepang, after 12 years in existence, needed urgent repairs and improvements to ensure that it remained on par with the newer tracks.
The SIC recently submitted a proposed renovation and refurbishment package to the circuit owners, the Ministry of Finance, on the matter.
“The plan is to look at improving the facilities and upgrading the infrastructure for the next few years,” said Razlan.
“We also have immediate priorities to repair leakages besides putting up a permanent hospitality building and the support paddock.”