Malaysia ready to ditch Formula One
Formula One could be on its way out of Malaysia after the chief of the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) inferred the dominance of Mercedes had stripped the sport of its excitement. Amid falling ticket sales and television viewers, SIC chief executive Razlan Razali told local media that “maybe it will do Malaysia good to take a break” from hosting F1. “The product [F1] is no longer exciting. It’s being dominated by one team,” said Razali. Malaysian sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin also agreed that it may be worth Malaysia taking a break from F1 hosting duties. “I think we should stop hosting the F1. At least for a while. Cost too high, returns limited,” he tweeted. “When we first hosted the F1 it was a big deal. First in Asia outside Japan. Now so many venues, no first mover advantage. Not a novelty.” There is a contract to hold an F1 race at Sepang through 2018 but the prospects of continuing beyond that are diminishing. An early exit could be negotiated as F1’s new ownership seeks to expand its presence in America without extending the season schedule. Meanwhile, the Sepang circuit will host Moto GP this weekend and tickets sales for the race have been much higher than for F1.