Malaysian officials not worried over Singapore threat

Sepang International Circuit (SIC) chairman Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir is unmoved by the possible "competition" from Singapore which is reportedly favored to host a leg of the Formula One World Championship on a street circuit.

But first, Mokhzani’s task is to seal the future of the Malaysian Grand Prix beyond 2010, when the current contract, which was signed with Formula One Management (FOM) in 1999, expires.

"I’ve been given the mandate by the Government to negotiate the hosting of the Malaysian Grand Prix beyond 2010. This, we have to secure this year," said Mokhzani.

"If you look at all the Press statements that were coming out of Melbourne (the Australian GP last weekend), where there was supposed to be some announcements from (F1 supremo) Bernie Ecclestone, he was actually talking more about the viability of having F1 in certain areas.

"If you’re talking about having it on a temporary circuit like what Singapore is proposing, then our approach is different. They are talking about a three-day event.

"Our approach is to use the event and the circuit for the development of motorsports in our country. Likewise, from what we gather, if the Singapore Grand Prix is on, then it may be at a different slot to ours.

"Ours could be maintained as it is now, after Australia and before F1 moves to Bahrain and Europe, while Singapore could be towards the end of the calendar, as the season ends in China and Japan, with probably another leg in Abu Dhabi."

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