F1 Track Poised for Remarkable Comeback in 2026

Reports suggest that Petronas, Malaysia's national oil company, is considering reviving F1 races at the Sepang International Circuit in 2026.

Mark Phelan

By Mark Phelan
Updated on February 4, 2024

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The Sepang International Circuit last hosted the Malaysian Grand Prix from 1999 to 2017, with the final race being won by Max Verstappen.

Petronas’s decision to end the Grand Prix in 2017 was influenced by the escalating costs of organising the race and declining ticket sales, which resulted in financial losses. However, with the recent surge in popularity of the sport, Petronas appears to be reconsidering its stance.

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Tengku Muhammad Taufik Tengku Aziz, the firm’s President and CEO, disclosed plans to reintroduce Formula 1 to Malaysia during a recent meeting, as reported by MalayMail.

Challenges of expanding F1’s calendar

The goal is to reintegrate the Malaysian Grand Prix into the F1 calendar by 2026, coinciding with the sport’s adoption of new regulations. This period also marks the introduction of a new street race in Madrid, suggesting a potential expansion of an already extensive F1 calendar.

The 2024 F1 season is set to be the longest in the history of the sport, featuring 24 races across 21 nations. David Croft, a commentator for Sky Sports F1, has raised concerns about the sustainability of such a packed schedule.

Nevertheless, the return of the Malaysian Grand Prix faces several challenges. Just last year, the country’s sports minister, Hannah Yeoh, expressed reservations about the feasibility of hosting F1 races due to the substantial costs involved. She stated, “If we could host an F1 race, we already would have done it — but for now, we can’t afford to have races.”

Source: GP Fans

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About The Author

Senior Editor

Mark Phelan
Mark Phelan

Mark is a staff writer specialising in the history of Formula 1 races. Mark researches most of our historic content from teams to drivers and races. He has followed Formula 1 since 1988, and admits to having a soft spot for British drivers from James Hunt and Nigel Mansell to Lando Norris. He loves a great F1 podcast and has read pretty much every drivers biography.

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