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Iconic circuit tipped for F1 return in 2026

Iconic circuit tipped for F1 return in 2026

Iconic circuit tipped for F1 return in 2026

Iconic circuit tipped for F1 return in 2026

The Sepang International Circuit could return to the Formula 1 calendar, with Malaysia's state oil company Petronas open to bringing the race back.

The Malaysian Grand Prix was hosted there for 1999-2017, with Max Verstappen winning the last race held in Sepang.

Due to rising costs of hosting the F1 race, and a decline in ticket sales leaving the company out of pocket, Petronas decided to call it a day in 2017, but with the interest in the sport now growing exponentially, it looks as though they are willing to come back to the table.

According to MalayMail, the firm’s president and chief executive Tengku Muhammad Taufik Tengku Aziz revealed his plans to bring F1 back to the country at a meeting earlier this week.

F1's unsustainable calendar growth

It is understood that the aim would be to get the race back on the calendar in time for 2026, when F1 enters a new era with all-new regulations sweeping into the sport.

This is also the year in which a new Madrid street race has been confirmed to be taking place, meaning an expansion of an already bloated calendar could be on the horizon.

F1's upcoming season in 2024 is already scheduled to be the longest in the sport's history, with 24 races taking place across 21 different countries, and Sky Sports F1 commentator David Croft has recently questioned the sustainability of this.

The Malaysian GP, however, is expected to face a number of hurdles before its return can be confirmed, with scepticism coming just last year from the country's sports minister.

Hannah Yeoh said that hosting an F1 race was “very expensive” and that: “If we could host an F1 race, we already would have done it — but for now, we can’t afford to have races.”

READ MORE: F1 Schedule 2024: Full calendar with all you need to know about every grand prix

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