Discussions are apparently taking place with the organisers of Formula 1, though a proposal to resume racing at Sepang International Circuit (SIC) has yet to be received. This was said by SIC chief executive officer Azhan Shafriman Hanif while speaking to Malaysian press recapping the year 2020.
Held from 1999 to 2017, the contract to hold Formula 1 Racing at SIC was cancelled after 19 years, on the grounds that it was not profitable. “The return of Formula 1 to SIC will depend on both the proposal as well as Malaysian government approval,” said Shafriman.
While celebrating the anniversary of his first year at the helm of SIC, Shafriman acknowledged 2020 had been an extraordinary and difficult year for the circuit with many international, regional and national events cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking on the possibility of MotoGP being held at SIC this year, Shafriman said proposals have been forwarded to authorities on standard operating procedures (SOP) to hold an international event at SIC. Measures include containing the race in a “bubble” with participants confined to the track and hotel with transport in between but no word has been forthcoming.
Touching on the issue of Mandalika circuit coming online and possibly holding a MotoGP round in 2021, Shafriman said at present only SIC is slated on the MotoGP to hold a race in South-East Asia. However, he acknowledged that circumstances may change at any time, depending on the pandemic and government measures to contain it, both here and around ASEAN.
Shafriman said at the present moment, SIC does have events scheduled, notably national level events, but a lot hinges on approval from the authorities as well as event organisers’ adherence to SOP. Touching on the recent night drag race event at SIC where police shut down proceedings and issued summonses to both the organiser and SIC, Shafriman said as the venue owner, SIC had reminded the organiser of pandemic SOPs and it was the responsibility of the organiser to ensure attendees adhered to the rules and regulations.
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