SEPANG - Formula 1 fans will be able to enjoy the event here for another three years with the inking of a new three-year contract that takes effect next year.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak revealed the successful conclusion of negotiations with Formula 1 management, the rights holder for the event.
"With that, Petronas has also agreed to be the title sponsor for the the next three years," he told reporters after presenting the trophy to Scuderia Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) yesterday.
Najib said there was a need to develop the race further as an event that would attract more Malaysians to attend.
"Other agencies and ministries, including Tourism Malaysia, must work together to make this an important event in the tourism calendar.
"We need to create more excitement and buzz to lure more spectators," he said, adding that SIC's management had voiced some ideas but needed more support from other government departments in terms of promotions.
SIC chairman Tan Sri Mokhzani Mahathir said he was thankful that the negotiations worked out.
"I believe negotiations between Formula 1 management, Petronas and SIC have created a win-win situation for all parties at a reasonable price.
"Now we just need to do more to strengthen this event and all activities surrounding it," he said, adding that support from Malaysian motorsports fans was important.
SIC chief executive officer Datuk Razlan Razali said after hosting the race for 17 years, he was looking forward to the next three years.
"We need to be really sure of ourselves, and to make sure the commitment of all agencies involved is there.
"I am looking forward to a new phase of Formula 1 for Malaysia," he said.