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Malaysia will not extend F1 deal, says minister

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Malaysia will not extend F1 deal, says minister
By:
Nov 21, 2016, 12:52 PM

Malaysia will not extend its contract to continue hosting a Formula 1 race after the current deal comes to an end in 2018, the country's tourism and culture minister said on Monday.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid leads at the start of the race
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid leads at the start of the race
The grid before the start of the race
Sepang circuit - start-finish straight

The future of the Malaysian GP was thrown into doubt last month after a meeting between Sepang's shareholders and the ministry of finance, following poor ticket sales and what local media reported to be the lowest TV viewing figures in the event's history.

Malaysia's minister of youth and sports Khairy Jamaluddin had said the grand prix was too expensive, and that the country should give up on it to focus on the more popular MotoGP race instead.

Sepang has a deal to host the F1 grand prix for another two years, but tourism and culture minister Nazri Abdul Aziz said on Monday that the contract would not be renewed.

"The current agreement is from 2016 to 2018. So once that ends, there will be no more [F1]," Aziz told local media.

"F1 attendance is dropping and there is less attraction now. We are spending RM 300 million a year [$97 million].

"The cost of hosting F1 has increased 10-fold compared to the first time it was held." 

The news comes after Bernie Ecclestone said Singapore also wanted to give up its Formula 1 race.

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Series Formula 1
Author Pablo Elizalde