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Interest in F1 waning in Malaysia

Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia celebrates on the podium after winning the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit in Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016.  (AP Photo/Vincent Thian) / 2016.mb.com.ph

MB file- Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia celebrates on the podium after winning the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit in Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016.
(AP Photo/Vincent Thian) / 2016.mb.com.ph

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — Formula One could be on its way out of Malaysia after the country’s sports minister said “we should stop hosting” the grand prix and the chief of the Sepang International Circuit inferred the dominance of Mercedes had stripped the sport of its excitement. There is a contract to hold an F1 race at Sepang through 2018 but the prospects of continuing beyond that are diminishing. An early exit could possibly be negotiated as F1’s new ownership seeks to expand its presence in the United States without extending the season schedule. Amid falling ticket sales and television viewership, SIC chief executive Razlan Razali told local media that “maybe it will do Malaysia good to take a break” from hosting F1.”The product (F1) is no longer exciting. It’s being dominated by one team,” Razali was quoted as saying.