Malaysia has became the first of the many nations who hosted the prestigious Formula One races in the modern F1 era. Since the inaugural race in 1999, the 5.54 km track provides great challenge not only in terms of the challenging track layout, but the unpredictable weather, from high sulking temperature to torrid rain and thunderstorm has hit the Malaysian round in recent years. It is also a favourite to some of the current F1 drivers as well.
However the current F1 contract for Malaysia will end in 2015, and it could be the last F1 race to be held in Malaysia. Razlan Razali, the head of the Sepang F1 International Circuit, has admitted that too early to even think about the contract extension. He did hinted out his frustrations with negotiating with FOM (Formula One Management) on the contract extension in his recent interview with Isportconnect. Among them are the late race start hours (not advisable due to the crazy and unpredictable rain, like in 2009 and 2012), the high hosting fees and so on.
With more countries like Russia, United States, Mexico and even Thailand are showing interest to host the F1 race in the future, and after being outshined by Singapore’s night race, it looks like it is time for Sepang F1 Circuit to consider moving on, perhaps considering to host other world class race series. The only race track with the F1 name incorporate with it, it has been 16 good years of hosting the F1 races should it ends after 2015. What a shame indeed, consider the circuit is some of the better modern F1 circuit designed by Hermann Tilke, the man who penned many modern F1 tracks.
Personally I think it is a matter of time Malaysia will lose F1 due to the high cost of hosting it and more countries are involved on hosting new races in a rather tight 20 race calender. The grandstand F1 tickets is still out of reach to many Malaysians although the F1 tickets in Sepang is the cheapest in the F1 Calender. But with MotoGP gained very high popularly in recent years thanks to local talents like Zulfahmi Khairuddin, and with other interesting race series which can be potentially hosted in Sepang like the World Touring Car Championship, World Endurance Championship, it is not a bad lost afterall. Although it is still welcome to see Alonso, Raikkonen, Hamilton and gang battling out in Sepang, should they still remain in F1 beyond 2016.