The contract that binds Malaysia to the F1 world championship will not be renewed at the end of 2018. Making the statement was the minister of culture and tourism, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, who made the announcement to the Bernama agency.
“We spend 300 million Ringitt per year(€64 million per year) but we never make back our money. F1 does not provide a return on our investment. The F1 spectators have dwindled year after year, probably because there is not much interest.”
Nazri added that, since Malaysia has not produced any F1 riders in the last twenty years, there is no reason to continue. Minister of Sport, Khairy Jamaluddin added that it is more important to invest in growing new talent than to continue paying for a Grand Prix that does not bring in revenue.
In the meantime, however, the contract with MotoGP has been renewed through 2021. Compared with the 65,000 initial spectators in 1999, the Sepang circuit now registers 160,000 spectators over the three days of the motorcycle Grand Prix weekend.
Here is the official 2016 data: