Malaysia cannot afford to bring Formula 1 back to the Sepang circuit.
Between 1999 and 2017, the circuit near Kuala Lumpur was highly regarded by the drivers.
But as Malaysia’s F1 adventure ended, then sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin said: “I think we should stop hosting the F1. At least for a while.
“Cost too high, returns limited.”
And now, despite rumours Malaysia might be keen to return to the calendar to capitalise on F1’s soaring popularity, it appears that nothing has changed.
“F1 is very expensive,” current sports minister Hannah Yeoh told the local publication The Vibes.
“We had to wait for 20 million Ringgit ($4.5 million) from the government just to upgrade the track. 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 (circuit) fixes.”
Indeed, it is understood that about half of the government funds will be used for resurfacing works in order to satisfy MotoGP federation FIM’s homologation requirements.