Petronas wants to ‘bring back’ F1 to Malaysia in 2026 – SportsPro

  • Malaysian oil company agreed three-year naming rights deal with SIC last year
  • Petronas currently partnered with Mercedes beyond 2026

Malaysian state oil company Petronas, current naming rights partner of the Sepang International Circuit (SIC), is seeking the return of Formula One in 2026, according to Reuters.

The Malaysian Grand Prix was held at the circuit between 1999 and 2017, but dropped off the calendar due to dwindling spectator numbers and the rising costs of hosting the race.

Rumours of the race’s return initially arose after Petronas agreed a three-year naming rights deal with SIC in October last year.

Reuters has now reported that the plans to explore a Formula One return were explained in a company townhall by Petronas’ president and chief executive Tengku Muhammad Taufik Tengku Aziz on 30th January.

If successful, Formula One will return to SIC after a nine-year hiatus. The circuit continues to host MotoGP, among other motorsport series.

Petronas’ current involvement in Formula One is through its long-term partnership with Mercedes, which began upon the team’s entry to the series in 2010. The reported US$75 million-a-year deal was extended beyond 2026 in September 2022.

Last year, Malaysia’s sports minister Hannah Yeoh said it would be “quite impossible” for Malaysia to host Formula One again due to the costs involved.

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