The future of the Malaysian Grand Prix has been in doubt following action taken by the local government to cut costs. It was anticipated the contract would end after the 2018 event but that has been brought forward so that this year’s running will be the last. At the time, Malaysia’s tourism minister said: “From the longer term perspective, it’s probably the correct decision because it’s more expensive and no longer that attractive.”
Fan numbers had been dwindling, and the track was starting to look less attractive compared to the glitzy Singapore and Abu Dhabi events. Nevertheless, it’s the end of an era as Malaysia has featured on the Formula One calendar for almost two decades. F1’s new commercial chief Sean Bratches has said that despite the loss, there will be a bumper 21 race calendar in 2018, which will now include the return of the French and German races.
He added: “It’s always sad to say goodbye to a member of the F1 family. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Sepang International Circuit for their hospitality and professionalism over the years, and their ongoing commitment to motorsport.”