Malaysia is considering pulling the plug on the annual Formula One Grand Prix race after its contract ends in 2018 due to declining ticket sales and TV viewership
Sepang International Circuit (SIC) chief executive officer Datuk Ahmad Razlan Ahmad Razal suggested that it might be beneficial for the country to stop hosting the major sporting event after 17 years of doing so.
The inaugural Malaysian Grand Prix was held in 1999.
Razlan said TV viewership and ticket sales are decreasing at an alarming rate
“Maybe it will do Malaysia good to take a break. I think the product (F1) is no longer exciting. It’s being dominated by one team,” he said as quoted by the New Straits Times.
Sales for the Grand Prix reached only 60 percent recently, in contrast to the MotoGP event, which is expecting a sell-out for this weekend's round of the championship.
Razlan also said that the TV viewership for this year's Malaysian Grand Prix was the "lowest in history".
The Sepang circuit has a contract to host the F1 Grand Prix till 2018, but a meeting between shareholders and the ministry of finance will be held soon to decide the fate of the event
The Sepang International Circuit renewed the contract back in 2015, with Petronas acting as the major sponsor of the event
Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin called for the country to give up F1 in favour of MotoGP
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