The 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix will be the last race at the Sepang circuit after F1 chiefs and race organisers came to an agreement.
It was already well known that the current contract was due to end after the 2018 event with government officials already announcing they would not fund an extension for the race.
The decision between F1 chiefs and the race organisers will allow the track to continue to focus on other events such as Moto GP. The Formula One race was generally being run at a loss due to hosting fees and low crowd turn out.
Since making its debut in 1999 as the first of the new style tracks designed by Herman Tilke the race has seen many moments. Many will remember the 2009 race when half points were awarded in a rain shortened race as well as ‘multi 21’ between Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull in 2013.
The agreement between the circuit owners and F1’s new owners Liberty Media means that Sepang’s contract will be terminated after this years race in October rather than the following year in 2018.
F1’s managing director of commercial operations Sean Bratches said in a statement: “It’s always sad to say goodbye to a member of the Formula 1 family.
“Over nearly two decades, the Malaysian Formula 1 fans have proven themselves to be some of the sport’s most passionate supporters.
“As we said in Melbourne, we have big plans for bringing our global fan base closer to the sport than ever before, providing an enhanced digital experience and creating new events.
“We’re looking forward to talking more about these plans as the season progresses.
“We will have 21 exciting events to look forward to in the 2018 calendar, with the additions of the French and German races.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Sepang International Circuit for their hospitality and professionalism over the years, and their ongoing commitment to motor sport.”
With the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard already confirmed for 2018 and the German Grand Prix returning at Hockenheim, which can only host the race every two years due to cost, the 2018 calendar will still have 21 races .With around half the races in Europe as well this is already showing Liberty Media’s want to maintain the European heartland of the sport.
Photo Credit: F1fanatic.com