KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said the government intends to bring back the Formula One (F1) race due to the interest it has generated in the automotive industry among Malaysians.
Although the prime minister did not say exactly when the race will make its return, he acknowledged in a report by The Star Online that many Malaysians had become “addicted” to motor vehicles.
“We intend to bring back the Grand Prix, but I don’t know if it’s next year or the year after.
“But the interest in Grand Prix is still very big and we want to bring back the race here, because it has stimulated many Malaysians to go into the automotive industry,” he was quoted saying at the American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce luncheon here today.
Dr Mahathir pointed out that although the Sepang International Circuit no longer hosted international races, it was still a hive of activity as it was a venue for avid car and motorcycle lovers to pursue their interest.
He added that Singaporeans get to enjoy their expensive cars in Malaysia.
Dr Mahathir believed that the Grand Prix would attract many spectators if it was held again.
“We will be able to get spectators, more than 100,000 people and that will be worthwhile for us. Besides, when we have the Grand Prix, the television stations will broadcast this all over the world, bringing about 200 million viewers,” he said.
The Sepang International Circuit had hosted the Malaysian Grand Prix, which is part of the F1 World Championship, from 1999 to 2017.
The previous administration had scrapped the event, citing declining returns.