All is not well with Formula One, the pinnacle of motorsports. Declining spectator figures, uninspiring racing and overregulation of rules are among the problems currently faced in F1. Now, your chances of catching another F1 race in Sepang looks bleak, and here’s why.
First, Sepang International Circuit (SIC) chief executive officer Datuk Ahmad Razlan Ahmad Razali said he will have a meeting with the Minister of Finance to discuss the future of the Malaysian F1 race. Razlan also suggested SIC to take a short hiatus from hosting an F1 race. Currently, the hosting contract will end after two more races (until 2018).
He also lamented on poor ticket sales which have been on a gradual decline over the years. TV viewership, usually a brilliant revenue generator, was at its lowest this year as Malaysians are shying away from the sport. The same fate is also shared with our neighbour Singapore, as well as other countries.
The same sentiment was echoed by Youth and Sports Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin. He said that it’s now no longer an exclusive event, as more and more countries are starting to host the F1 race. Khairy also agreed that the focus should go to the MotoGP series, at least that would be more relevant to more Malaysians.
That’s because the country is represented by three riders competing in the Moto2 and Moto3 series. Based on that alone, ticket sales for MotoGP events have skyrocketed (even sold out) for two consecutive years. It’s also more reasonable (cost wise) to host the MotoGP race compared to the high costs involved with F1.
The Sepang circuit is the brainchild of Tun Dr. Mahathir, built with the intention of hosting such races and subsequently boosting the tourism industry. If the Sepang circuit does indeed shut its doors on F1, let’s just take a moment to appreciate the fact that it’s been nearly two decades since we first hosted the F1 race.
What do you think, dear readers? Is this a good move or is it not? Share with us your thoughts and do let us know if the Sepang F1 race is worth saving.