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Sepang CEO wouldn’t want to host Malaysia F1 race even on free deal

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The CEO of the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia has said he would not be interested in hosting Formula 1 again even if offered a free hosting deal.

After debuting in 1999, this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix will be the last for the foreseeable future after F1 officials announced back in April it had agreed to terminate the contract of the race one year early.

Falling attendance figures and growing costs led to the race promoters pushing to ditch F1, with Sepang CEO Razlan Razali making his frustration clear in an interview with Reuters.

“Even if we got the greatest of deals – do it for free for example – what’s the product?” Razali said.

“I myself am not able to sit in front of the television and watch from Lap 1 until whatever lap for two hours. It’s hard to sell this kind of event and to get bums on the seat.

“It’s not worth the investment at the moment.”

Razali said that F1’s new owner, Liberty Media, did “not work hard enough” to change the organizers’ minds about the race, with no changes to the sport’s on-track product being clear.

“What they have done off-track, it’s great. but what triggers for someone to buy tickets to come to the circuit?” Razali said.

“It’s the product, the sport, not because of the activation they have done.”

The final Malaysian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 2am ET on Sunday.

Takuma Sato’s likeness revealed on Borg-Warner Trophy (PHOTOS)

Photos; Walt Kuhn
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INDIANAPOLIS – Rather than the traditional December unveil, this year’s reveal newest likeness added to the Borg-Warner Trophy came Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Takuma Sato got to see the result of the sculpting done by William Behrends and then turned from wax, clay and ceramic into sterling silver on Tuesday evening, as the winner of the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil saw his face revealed on the trophy.

Sato took the No. 26 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda for Andretti Autosport to the win in thrilling fashion this year over Helio Castroneves, denying the Brazilian his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory in the process. It atoned for his near-miss in 2012, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the team he’ll return to in 2018.

It’s been a whirlwind last week-plus for Sato, doing the podium interviews at the Japanese Grand Prix, reflecting on his Indianapolis 500 triumph, then sharing the victory spoils with another Japanese pilot in Yoshihide Muroya, who won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at Indianapolis this weekend.

Photos of Sato’s face on the most unique trophy in sports are below. This post will be updated following tonight’s full unveil. (All photos: Walt Kuhn)