Final flag for Malaysia’s Formula 1 race

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Malaysia will stop hosting to the annual Formula 1 Grand Prix this year, with the last race after 18 years to be held on October 1 at the Sepang International Circuit, Prime Minister Najib Razak said on April 7.

He said the race will be dropped because the event no longer justifies the cost of hosting it.

“The government pays the very high costs for organising the races, but they are attracting a dwindling number of spectators and tourists,” he noted.

Ceasing the race event is part of the current public savings measures. The Malaysian government has been cutting spending since the economy suffered heavily from the plunge in world oil prices in recent years. Economic growth hit a seven-year low in 2016 and the value of the ringgit dwindled to record-lows to the US dollar.

Some cynics said the government should recover embezzled money from state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad to finance the F1 race.

However, state-owned oil company Petronas, which was the main sponsor of the Malaysian Grand Prix,  will continue to sponsor the Mercedes AMG Formula 1 team, Najib said, and the government still plans to invest in other motor sports, such as MotoGP and go-kart racing.

“It’s always sad to say goodbye to a member of the Formula 1 family,” commented Sean Bratches, Managing Director of Commercial Operations at Formula 1.

“Over nearly two decades, the Malaysian Formula 1 fans have proven themselves to be some of the sport’s most passionate supporters,” he said, adding that “during its time on the Formula 1 calendar, Malaysia has also become a major force in motor racing and successfully established itself as a global tourist destination.”

It is not yet clear if and with which country the Formula 1 Organisation will replace Malaysia in its annual F1 calendar.

Malaysia first held the F1 event in 1999. Other countries in East and Southeast Asia hosting the Grand Prix are Singapore, China and Japan.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Malaysia will stop hosting to the annual Formula 1 Grand Prix this year, with the last race after 18 years to be held on October 1 at the Sepang International Circuit, Prime Minister Najib Razak said on April 7.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Malaysia will stop hosting to the annual Formula 1 Grand Prix this year, with the last race after 18 years to be held on October 1 at the Sepang International Circuit, Prime Minister Najib Razak said on April 7.

He said the race will be dropped because the event no longer justifies the cost of hosting it.

“The government pays the very high costs for organising the races, but they are attracting a dwindling number of spectators and tourists,” he noted.

Ceasing the race event is part of the current public savings measures. The Malaysian government has been cutting spending since the economy suffered heavily from the plunge in world oil prices in recent years. Economic growth hit a seven-year low in 2016 and the value of the ringgit dwindled to record-lows to the US dollar.

Some cynics said the government should recover embezzled money from state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad to finance the F1 race.

However, state-owned oil company Petronas, which was the main sponsor of the Malaysian Grand Prix,  will continue to sponsor the Mercedes AMG Formula 1 team, Najib said, and the government still plans to invest in other motor sports, such as MotoGP and go-kart racing.

“It’s always sad to say goodbye to a member of the Formula 1 family,” commented Sean Bratches, Managing Director of Commercial Operations at Formula 1.

“Over nearly two decades, the Malaysian Formula 1 fans have proven themselves to be some of the sport’s most passionate supporters,” he said, adding that “during its time on the Formula 1 calendar, Malaysia has also become a major force in motor racing and successfully established itself as a global tourist destination.”

It is not yet clear if and with which country the Formula 1 Organisation will replace Malaysia in its annual F1 calendar.

Malaysia first held the F1 event in 1999. Other countries in East and Southeast Asia hosting the Grand Prix are Singapore, China and Japan.

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