The Sepang International Circuit (SIC) hosted its 19th and last Formula 1 race yesterday, but prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that the track will not be a “white elephant”, adding that many informal and formal activities will be held at the facility, The Star reports.

The PM said that the authorities will develop motorsports in the circuit with more Malaysian participation. “We found that it is what the fans want to see – local drivers participating in races,” he said at SIC.

We think so too. SIC is still hosting the MotoGP Malaysian Grand Prix, the F1 equivalent of motorcycle racing, and various endurance races. Popular local race events such as the Malaysia Speed Festival (MSF) and Malaysian Super Series are also held there.

Still the fastest and top dedicated circuit in the region, SIC also popular with corporate as well as private driving events (customer and media test drives, track days, etc) and we understand that it can be fully booked for much of the year. It definitely will not fall into disuse without the annual visit of F1, but good maintenance is vital.

However, Najib said that F1 could return to Malaysia someday. The PM explained that hosting the race had been a case of diminishing returns for the country in recent years. “Because of that, its economic viability became less attractive and we decided to review and terminate it,” he said.

“But that doesn’t mean we can’t reconsider it at some point of time in the future, provided economic returns are favourable to us,” he added, noting that hosting the top tier race had raised Malaysia’s profile and also allowed Petronas to showcase its involvement as a multinational oil company.