Malaysia ready to ditch For­mula One

7 Days in Dubai - - SPORT -

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.

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