Malaysia is planning to take a “long break” from hosting Formula 1 after deciding to end its grand prix contract early over spiralling costs, according to Sepang International Circuit chief Razlan Razali.
After previously expressing concern over the future of the race, officials at Sepang announced earlier this month that the 2017 grand prix would be the last in Malaysia, ending its contract one year early by mutual agreement with F1’s new owner, Liberty Media.
Speaking to AFP, Razali said that the increasingly unbalanced economic forecast for hosting the race made the decision to drop it a simple one, and that a return will not be considered for some time.
“Since 2014 the numbers don’t add up anymore, so it was quite an easy decision to not host Formula 1 anymore,. It was not difficult at all to be honest,” Razali said.
“Right now we are firm in our decision to take a long break. We are looking at a seven to 10-year break.”
Razali also expressed his distaste at ex-F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone’s recent admission that he overcharged tracks to host grands prix, believing it made Malaysia “look like idiots”.
“For [Ecclestone] to come out with that statement, we can’t help but feel suckered by him in some ways and quite disappointed,” Razali said.
“We thought we have a relationship. But I guess the reality is there are no loyalties in this business, it is all about dollars and cents.
“So with that statement, yes, it upsets us in a way.”