Malaysian GP chasing three-year contract extension

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The promoters of the Malaysian Grand Prix have confirmed that they are chasing a three-year contract extension to keep the race until 2018.

The race was first held at Sepang International Circuit back in 1999 before moving into its traditional slot as the second round of the F1 season in 2001.

Its current contract expires at the end of the 2015 season, and with a number of new races looking to join the F1 calendar, the event could be at threat.

However, chairman of the Sepang International Circuit Mahathir Mokhzani is confident that a new deal can be negotiated, telling reporters at the launch of the 2015 race earlier this week that talks largely hinged on the sanction fee required by the F1 Group.

“The talks are centred on an agreeable price for organising the prestigious race for the next three years,” Mokhzani said.

“We also have to take into consideration the current economic volatility. For now we have not made any decision yet. We have to ensure the negotiations proceed smoothly.”

Should the Malaysian Grand Prix secure a new contract, the 2016 calendar could swell to as many as 22 races. The Grand Prix of Europe is set to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan next year, whilst organizers in Qatar claimed earlier this month that a deal to host a grand prix in the next two years was close.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”