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.