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Sepang boss hits out at F1 egos

NEWS STORY
01/05/2017

Having joined the calendar in 1999, a move which took Formula One to new pastures and marked the first of the Hermann Tilke-dromes, this year sees Malaysia host its final event.

As attendances fall, along with TV viewer figures, circuit bosses at Sepang, mindful of the ever increasing hosting fees and lack of quality, competitive racing, not to mention the far better value for money offered by MotoGP, have decided to call it a day.

Having already given the sport's powers-that-be a piece of his mind, Sepang boss Razlan Razali has now offered some friendly advice to F1's new owners, essentially saying 'raise your game' and 'don't take us (the track owners) for mugs'.

"I always feel for a new company to take over a championship like Formula One," he told AFP, "they need to move faster than the Formula One cars themselves.

"They are too slow to react," he continued. "For circuit owners who pay them a lot of money every year, the least they could do is introduce themselves, rather than us going to them and saying 'Are you Chase? are you Sean?'

"They are trying their hardest to make it work, but they are too focused on the Paddock Club, which, let's face it, is less than a thousand people, rather than the masses.

"What triggers the masses is to buy tickets to watch Formula One," he insisted, "what they experience at the Formula One is secondary. They want to buy tickets because Formula One is damn interesting or because they are supporting a particular driver or a team.

"In Moto GP they have everything," he said, "they have great support races with Moto Three and Moto Two. There are three world championship races and they create fans from the beginning.

"When a new rider comes into Moto Three, younger fans follow this particular rider. Maverick Vinales, for example, he started in Moto Three, he moved all the way up to Moto GP and the fans did the same.

"But you look at Formula One, who's Lance Stroll," he argued, "you tell me?

"There's no harm in looking at what the two wheels are doing," he advised Carey and Co, "put ego aside, put whatever aside, and look at what they are doing."

Ironically, the one thing Razlan believes the sport did get right, albeit ahead of the final race at his track, is hosting the Malaysia and Singapore events a week apart.

"Last year we were two weeks back-to-back with Singapore, that's a long wait," he said, "it should be one week, directly back-to-back.

"It's unique for Asia, having one week to watch a night street race and then one week you go to a proper circuit like Sepang. I think it's fantastic for the global fans. It's something we talked about with Bernie in the past and sort of mentioned to Liberty Media, but they seem to have other plans."

Words of wisdom, but is anyone listening?

Check out our Sunday gallery from Sochi, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 02/05/2017 17:57

"Sad to see Sepang off the calendar. The weather made for some wicked races. Wore down the drivers like no other race!"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Ro, 01/05/2017 15:15

"What a Malaysian telling an American how to do it better ??? No chance !"

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3. Posted by White Lightning, 01/05/2017 12:11

"I've been following the sport since 1997 and that is the possibly the most concentrated dose of common sense I have ever heard come out of the mouth of somebody involved in it. Get this man a position on the strategy board."

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