Return of the Malaysian GP is a ‘matter of time’ IF it gets the backing of sponsors says Malaysian Motorsport President Tan Sri Mokhzani Mahathir.
“We always have a good relationship with the organizers”
“When we start the discussion to host the race, so it is matter of time.”
F1 could make a comeback to SIC in the next three to five years if corporate entities were willing to sponsor the cost.
“In terms of being the host, it’s not a problem. It is a question of who is going to pay and whether we can afford it or not. I have no idea what is it (the cost) right now, but definitely it is higher than when we stopped in 2017.
“F1 is more popular than it used to be, it has a new audience after the ‘Formula 1: Drive to Survive’ Netflix series, while a lot of countries are bidding for the race as a statement for their country,” he told reporters during the MAM Aidilfitri Open House here today, which was also attended by the Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh.
“We get comments from drivers themselves that Sepang is one of the challenging tracks that they want to see back in the calendar. We always have a good relationship with the organisers, we know them since 1996 when we start the discussion to host the race, so it is matter of time,” he added.
April 12, 2023
(GMM) Malaysia cannot afford to bring Formula 1 back to the Sepang circuit.
Between 1999 and 2017, the circuit near Kuala Lumpur was highly regarded by the drivers.
But as Malaysia’s F1 adventure ended, then sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin said: “I think we should stop hosting the F1. At least for a while.
“Cost too high, returns limited.”
And now, despite rumors Malaysia might be keen to return to the calendar to capitalize on F1’s soaring popularity, it appears that nothing has changed.
“F1 is very expensive,” current sports minister Hannah Yeoh told the local publication The Vibes.
“We had to wait for 20 million Ringgit ($4.5 million) from the government just to upgrade the track. If we could host an F1 race we would already have done it.
“But for now, we can’t afford to have the races. For now, we will use the money for urgent (circuit) fixes.”
Indeed, it is understood that about half of the government funds will be used for resurfacing works in order to satisfy MotoGP federation FIM’s homologation requirements.