Malaysian Grand Prix: Sepang could leave F1 calendar over ticket sales

Daniel Ricciardo
Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo won the 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix

The Malaysian Grand Prix could leave Formula 1 when its contract ends in 2018 because of falling ticket sales and competition from other venues.

The race at the Sepang International Circuit has been a fixture on the F1 calendar every year since 1999.

Razlan Razali, the chief executive of the circuit, said Sepang, which can hold 120,000 fans, drew just 45,000 to the 2016 race on 2 October.

"If there is no economic value, why should we continue?" Razlan added.

Malaysian Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said competition from other Asian venues was also taking its toll.

He tweeted:external-link "When we first hosted the F1 it was a big deal. First in Asia outside Japan. Now so many venues. No first mover advantage. Not a novelty."

By contrast, organisers of last weekend's United States Grand Prix say a record crowd of 269,889 attended over the three days at the Circuit of the Americas.

Last month it was announced that US firm Liberty Media would take over Formula 1 for $4.4bn (£3.3bn).

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