Malaysia to make F1 return? "Perhaps in another two or three years"

Circuit officials of the Sepang International Circuit are in no rush for Malaysia to return to the F1 calendar as the government focuses on rebuilding the economy following the coronavirus pandemic.
Malaysia to make F1 return?

Malaysia was a permanent fixture on the F1 calendar from 1999 to 2017 before being dropped for 2018 due to rising costs.

There was talk of it returning for 2022 after Russia got removed from the calendar amid their war with Ukraine but it didn’t materialise with F1 cancelling the round entirely.

The Sepang circuit in Kuala Lumpur is a fan favourite due to the track offering great overtaking opportunities, while heavy rain conditions were always likely.

Malaysia to make F1 return?

The circuit was designed by Herman Tilke and it is widely regarded as some of his best work.

Azhan Shafriman Hanif, chief executive of the Sepang International Circuit, said they’d consider hosting an F1 race in “two to three years”.

“At this juncture, the answer is no, not for the time being,” Shafriman told AFP. “Perhaps in another two to three years when the economy has stabilised.

“We need to know what is the return in terms of the spillover effect

"We need to look at the rebranding, how do we monetise the platform. We need to talk about technology transfer, talent development and environmental sustainability."

Shafriman stressed the need for Sepang to have “another purpose” than just F1, citing Singapore - which is situated close to Malaysia - for promoting their grand prix event as more than just racing with music concerts .

“If Formula One were to come back to Malaysia, it has to be hinged on something else, not only on the race. There must be another purpose why we are doing F1,” he added.

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