Sepang could become the first track to host Formula 1 and MotoGP on consecutive weekends, if it is handed an October 2 date as part of an 2016 F1 calendar reshuffle being considered by Bernie Ecclestone.
Malaysia had originally been set to take place on September 25 next year, just one week after the Singapore Grand Prix on September 18.
However, amid concerns from Singapore chiefs about the impact on ticket sales of having the two events so close to each other, Ecclestone has been evaluating a tweak to the end of season run of events to separate them.
The issue is further complicated by the fact that Ecclestone is trying to move races after the summer break back by a week to ensure there is a summer shutdown – but this has left him with a scheduling headache.
Finding a gap
There had originally been a plan to move Malaysia to late November, and shift the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in to December.
However, it is understood there have been second thoughts about the idea of the season finishing so late.
Another idea being considered if for some form of triple-header, involving Singapore, Malaysia, Japan – or even Sochi, which could be moved back later in the year. But the logistical strain of doing this has met resistance from teams.
Another possibility is for Malaysia to simply be shifted back a week from its original slot – with Singapore chiefs said to be comfortable with there being a two-week break between the events.
That would mean the Malaysian Grand Prix taking place on October 2, just one week before its 2016 round of MotoGP.
However, it is unclear yet if it is logistically possible for F1 and MotoGP to get their equipment and infrastructure in and out of the venues in time.
An October 2 date for Malaysia would mean Singapore having to take place on September 25, which can only happen if there is no summer break.
It is understood Malaysia is eager to ensure it keeps a date late in the schedule, as it believes it is better for its prospect of selling tickets.
Ecclestone is expected to finalise his 2016 calendar plan next week, which is then set for ratification by the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris on September 30.