Malaysia sees bumper crowd for final Grand Prix

Malaysia’s final Formula One race saw a bumper crowd last weekend with the country’s last Grand Prix enjoying its largest attendance in four years.

Race organisers said a total of 110,604 spectators were at the Sepang International Circuit near Kuala Lumpur over the three-day race weekend.

The attendance was the largest turnout since 2013 and a 31.9 percent increase over last year.

Malaysia decided not to renew its contract for the race citing diminishing returns and the large hosting fee, although they have not ruled out a return in the future.

Sepang and Malaysia made its Formula 1 debut in 1999 as part of a big push to gain traction in Asia. At the time Japan was the only other Asian country to host a Grand Prix.

”We’ve had a great history here,“ said CEO of the Formula 1 Group Chase Carey. ”But change is part of life.

”We’re actually very excited about the opportunities we have in Asia in general.

“We have a number of places where we have great interest and new opportunities to continue to grow the sport.”

With its heat and humidity, the Sepang race was one of the most challenging for the drivers, although Sebastian Vettel, who finished fourth on Sunday and is currently second in the driver’s championship race said it was a good race.

“I think it has provided very good racing,” said Vettel.

“I’m not obviously involved in why we’re not racing here any more but, who knows, maybe we’re back after a year’s break or two.”