Malaysia will not extend the deal with Formula One to host races at the Sepang International Circuit. The country's minister for tourism has confirmed this to an online news website.
Nazri Abdul Aziz, the minister said, "The current agreement is from 2016 to 2018. So once that ends, there will be no more. F1 attendance is dropping and there is less attraction now. We are spending RM 300 million [£54.7m] a year."
Earlier, Datuk Ahmad Razlan Ahmad Razali, CEO of the Sepang International Circuit said that the Formula One race at Sepang was under threat due to poor ticket sales and falling television viewing figures.
In 2015, Ahmad Razali urged Formula One management to improve the racing spectacle and said they need to have a local F1 driver.
Khairy Jamaluddin, Youth and Sports Minister of the state also said to drop F1 but retain more profitable events such as MotoGP. "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," he said.
The Sepang International Circuit was purposefully built to host Formula One back in 1999. Ever since, it has hosted the F1 Grand Prix. The last contract renewal was done in 2015, following which the track conducted extensive renovations.