The chief executive of the Sepang International Circuit hosting the final Formula 1 race in Malaysia this weekend says he would not agree to an extended contract even if the hosting fees were waived, believing it is “not worth the investment”.

F1 bosses confirmed back in April that the 2017 running of the Malaysian Grand Prix would be the last after agreeing to terminate the race’s contract one year ahead of schedule amid low attendance figures and increasing concern from race organisers.

This weekend’s finale at Sepang has seen a number of drivers and paddock figures express their hope F1 would return in the future, but track CEO Razlan Razali said the cost of hosting and promoting the race made it unlikely.

“Even if we got the greatest of deals - do it for free for example - what’s the product?” Razali said in an interview with Reuters.

“I myself am not able to sit in front of the television and watch from Lap 1 until whatever lap [for] two hours. It’s hard to sell this kind of event and to get bums on the seat.

“It’s not worth the investment at the moment.”

The pre-existing contract for Malaysia was agreed with F1’s previous management, headed up by Bernie Ecclestone, but Razali said new owners Liberty Media “did not work hard enough for us to change our minds” about scrapping the race.

Razali stressed that seeing changes in F1’s on-track product would be the only way for Malaysia to consider reviving the grand prix, having not seen any major changes since Liberty’s takeover.

“What changes have you seen that makes it any more exciting than in the Bernie days? In terms of the sport, in terms of racing, what have they done?” he said.

“The easiest part is to come back and negotiate with Liberty Media for F1 to come back. The hard part still is whether the sport has changed for the better.”

 

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