The end of Formula One in Malaysia

  Formula One is coming to an end in Malaysia as Sepang International Circuit and F1 organizers have confirmed that 2017 will be the final race. Sepang International Circuit has hosted Formula 1 since 1999, and both Formula 1 and SIC say they are determined to make this year’s event in October a fitting finale for Malaysia’s one and only F1 circuit.

Formula 1 has made Malaysia a tourist attraction since it becomes a regular fixture on the calendar. The series has also created a huge fan base from its annual F1-derived programs and pre-race activities. We have yet to hear from Sepang circuit on their take of the decision to drop out from Formula 1. From the current economic situation in the country, the domestic organizers probably felt that it was no longer necessary to host an F1 race as the cost of hosting an F1 race costs very, very high and spectator numbers have dropped significantly over the years.

The 2016 F1 Malaysian round has been moved to 29 September till 2 October since the track’s refurbishment early last year. Fans of F1 in the country are advised to grab their tickets now to witness the finale of the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix, this October. The Malaysian round offers fans with plenty of single-seater action including the GP2, GP3 and other spectacular support races. Last season, the GP2 series saw local driver Nabil Jeffri take to the action driving for Arden International, while Akash Neil Nandy drove for Jenzer Motorsports in the GP3 series. 2016 F1 race saw both Red Bull Racing drivers clinch a one-two finish with Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen finishing in the top two spots. It was Ricciardo first win of the 2016 season. Mercedes-AMG F1 team’s Nico Rosberg, who was crowned 2016 champion, came home third behind the Red Bulls. Crowd favorite Lewis Hamilton dropped out of contention of the Malaysian GP after his engine blew up during the race.

Last season, Sepang circuit registered a total attendance of 83,828, which was an increase of roughly 4% over 2015. But, in the past, attendance for the Malaysian round usually rang up to 100,000 or more. Again, the decision to terminate hosting an F1 race is due to ministerial calls to cease hosting premier racing events to reduce or rather cut high costs, as well as curb the insufficient returns from hosting a major race event.

This year GP will be the 19th F1 Malaysia GP, scheduled for 29 September to 1 October. The Malaysian race comes right after the Singapore F1 GP, and this edition will be the end of all things Formula 1 in Malaysia.