Officials play down Malaysia night race rumors

Sepang is simply too hot during the day for the fans
Sepang is simply too hot during the day for the fans

(GMM) Reports that Malaysia could return to the F1 calendar with a night race have been played down by officials.

This week, the former Malaysian grand prix circuit at Sepang near Kuala Lumpur launched a floodlighting system.

It has been suggested the venue could be making a new bid to return to the F1 calendar, having relinquished its hosting rights after last year's race.

But prime minister Mahathir Mohamad says Sepang would actually need "different" lighting for a formula one night race.

"Usually for formula one, for television the picture has to be very good," he said. "This one is not bright enough."

Sepang boss Azman Yahya agreed, saying the new lights are for "normal racing" and solely to attract "more bookings".

However, the FIA endorsed the lighting works at Sepang, and experts involved with the F1 night races in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi were reportedly involved.

But youth and sports minister Syed Saddiq insisted: "Cabinet has decided to move away from F1 and focus on two wheeled sports instead, including MotoGP and other superbike races.

"F1 is costly and we know it has diminishing marginal returns," he added.

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