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.