Last Chance to watch Malaysian Grand Prix

Last November, we reported that Malaysia will be pulling out of hosting Formula 1 after the contract ends in 2018. Last week, Prime Mini...


Last November, we reported that Malaysia will be pulling out of hosting Formula 1 after the contract ends in 2018. Last week, Prime Minister Najib confirmed that the Cabinet has agreed to end the contract, citing dwindling viewers and returns on investment as the reasons, and the last Malaysia Grand Prix will be the one taking place this October.

When Malaysia started hosting the race in 1999, there were only two Asian host countries. Now, there are six. And the event no longer draws in a large enough crowd or enough tourists to matter to the country. Costs have also escalated by ten-fold since the first race, and the government spends RM300 million a year to host the race.

The main sponsor of the Malaysian GP is oil & gas company, Petronas, which took a massive hit from the oil price tumble, so we assume that it has had to make massive spending cutbacks; the state-owned firm will still sponsor the Mercedes AMG team because, well, it won the last three driver’s and constructor’s championships, so it’s really good for branding. You MUST have seen all those Nico and Lewis life-size cut-outs at Petronas gas stations, telling you how great Petronas's fuel is.

So, without the F1 event, the funds will be channelled into developing other motorsports. The Malaysian MotoGP, for instance, is a much more popular event, drawing a crowd of 95,000 fans on race day last year, which lead to a further five-year extension to host the event (until 2021).

We’ll also get a new motorcycle racing circuit in Sungai Petani, although there has been some concerns, raised by the state government, regarding maintenance costs. Read also: Malaysia to get new race track. 
 
So, fellow Formula 1 fans, this will be the LAST CHANCE to attend an F1 Grand Prix race in Malaysia. If you want the experience of watching the race under scorching heat or torrential rain, or sometimes both within the short span of the race, grab your tickets while you still can. 


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