The Malaysia Grand Prix says hosting Formula 1 is “very expensive” and doubts that it will return without further investment.
The Sepang International Circuit last hosted an F1 race in 2017 but pulled out at the end of that season, despite being contracted until 2018, due to rising hosting fees and a decline in ticket sales.
Malaysia Youth and Sports Minister, Hannah Yeoh, says the circuit located in Kuala Lumpur would need further government investment for upgrades.
“F1 is very expensive. We had to wait for RM20 million from the government just to upgrade the track,” said Yeoh to Malaysian outlet The Vibes.
“If we could host an F1 race we would already have done it, but for now, we can’t afford to have the races.
“For now, we will use the money for urgent fixes.”
Upgrade works continue at track
The track has a lapsed FIA Grade 1 licence that expired in 2020, which means it could still host races if it reapplies.
Sepang International Circuit chief executive officer, Azhan Shafriman Hanif, said that government funding will help the track to become a world-class facility once again.
“So far, resurfacing works have been going well, this week we have laid down the first layer,” he said.
“It is expected to be completed by April 27, just in time for the Porsche Carrera Cup taking place at the end of the month.”