Financial concerns trigger Malaysia calendar withdrawal

Malaysia's expected return to the Formula E Championship has reportedly been called off after the country pulled out of hosting duties, following major concerns over new financial requirements.

according to Free Malaysia Today (FMT)Malaysia was scheduled to host the final of next year's Formula E 3.5 generation cars, at the famous Sepang International Circuit (SIC).

According to local reports, the race was initially supposed to be held at the Kuala Lumpur City Circuit, but was moved to SIC. It is assumed that tension has been growing between Formula E and its local partner, Sports Tech Holdings, with the latter being behind the change of venue.

Formula E reportedly wanted the street race to be held near the capital, Kuala Lumpur, only for Sports Tech Holdings to change the venue due to technical challenges.

The tension is believed to have been caused by rising rights fees and commercial changes. The last Formula E race was in Malaysia in 2015, with the Putrajaya E race.

“The new racing fees are beyond our financial capacity, and we did not want to burden the government with a financial burden,” Wan Aghil Wan Hassan, CEO of SportsTech, said, according to what was reported by the British newspaper “Daily Mail”. FMT.

He added: “If there is no economic value, why do we continue?”

Malaysia's withdrawal is the latest setback for the country in bringing back the single-seater world championship, as Formula 1 has not raced in the country since 2017 also due to financial concerns.

Although Sports Tech has declared its disappointment with finances, Formula E is known to contribute a significant sum to each race, usually around $100 million. This figure has been published by other places.

“Our decision to back away from this opportunity stems from differences in expectations regarding the scope of the event and the financial framework,” One Agile continued.

“The economic conditions and scale of investment required do not align seamlessly with our strategic priorities or financial planning.

“The significant initial costs, coupled with our assessment of the potential returns, led us to conclude that a re-evaluation of our involvement was necessary.

“This decision reflects our commitment to align our projects with Malaysia’s economic reality and our strategic objectives.”

A non-disclosure agreement between Formula E and Sports Tech means the rights fee cannot be mentioned, although the break-up occurred after talks after the country gave the go-ahead to hold the race last month.

“We recognize that this decision may disappoint the motorsport community and fans and we apologize for any expectations this decision may have caused,” One Agile said.


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