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F1 news

Mercedes sponsor aiming to revive popular F1 Grand Prix

As various locations voice interest in staging a Formula 1 Grand Prix going forward, a former fan-favourite event has now announced its desire to return to the calendar.

Hamilton Verstappen Malaysia
Article
To news overview © XPBimages

Malaysia's state oil company Petronas, which is also the title sponsor of the Mercedes Formula 1 team, is attempting to bring the Malaysian Grand Prix back to the calendar.

The Asian country made its F1 World Championship debut at the Sepang International Circuit in 1999, a race that was won by Ferrari's Eddie Irvine.

However, it dropped off the calendar following the 2017 campaign amid declining ticket sales and rising costs of staging the event.

Despite its absence from the F1 calendar the track has continued to host other racing events, most notably the MotoGP World Championship.

Malaysia's Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh commented last year that it couldn't afford to bring F1 back to the track as it used government funding to make repairs and upgrades to the facility.

However, it now appears that there are renewed attempts to revive the Grand Prix according to Reuters.

The report stated that the plan to bring the race back to the calendar was revealed during a town hall meeting led by Petronas CEO Tengku Muhammad Taufik Tengu Aziz.

Petronas has been a long-time Mercedes sponsor, having been in partnership with the German manufacturer ever since it returned to the grid as a works team in 2010.

Mercedes and Petronas announced in 2022 that the collaboration would continue into the 2026 season when new technical regulations will come into play.

Mercedes is a one-time winner around the Sepang International Circuit with Lewis Hamilton prevailing in 2014.

The event was known for its exciting Grands Prix, with unpredictable weather in the area often causing dramatic and chaotic races.

The most recent Malaysian Grand Prix in 2017 was won by Max Verstappen, marking the Dutchman's second F1 race win.

Malaysia's new interest in staging the race once again comes amid a boom in the sport's popularity, with several new venues such as Miami, Jeddah and Las Vegas joining the calendar in recent years.

UPDATE:

However, a Petronas statement issued shortly after the report quashed claims of a potential return for F1 to Sepang.

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