The fate of the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) will likely be known by the end of this week, said SIC CEO Datuk Razlan Razali.
The CEO said there will be a special meeting to discuss the matter with the Finance Ministry on Thursday. He said, "F1 ticket sales here have gone down since 2014. In contrast, the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP) looks more promising in terms of attracting spectators and its potential spillover effects."
The SIC first hosted the F1 in 1999. He also said that there is no hurry to issue an official announcement of the discontinuation of F1 in Sepang and they also has a watertight agreement with the licensed holders until 2018.
He added, "A temporary withdrawal from F1 (after 2018) could be beneficial for the country to take a break. Currently, some say, the product (F1) is no longer exciting as it is being dominated by one team. An initial report for the last F1 race also showed that television viewership in Malaysia was the lowest in history."
He also said the SIC is focusing on developing the MotoGP. The first MotoGP race at Sepang was held in 1999 and this weekend's Malaysian MotoGP tickets are already sold out.
He added, "Last year we saw 85,000 spectators for our MotoGP. This year, as all the tickets were already sold, we target a record 90,000 spectators. Moving forward, if all parties collaborate, inclusive of the ministries of tourism, sports and communication, we may improve."