Five months before the last Formula One Grand Prix in Sepang on October 1st, CEO Razlan Razali aired his anger at the new owners Liberty Media and former boss Bernie Ecclestone. The latter had been crucifying and exploiting route operators for years, which eventually forced Sepang to withdraw prematurely after 19 years in formula 1.
Ecclestone itself had recently admitted to having demanded extremely high fees for the organisation of races. A statement that angers Razali. In view of this observation, we feel deceived and are very disappointed. We thought we had a good relationship, but in reality, it looks like this business has no loyalty. It’s only about dollars and cents,”Razali says to”City A.M.”.
The decision to turn our back on formula 1 is a longer-term one, he continues to stress:”At the moment we are determined to take a long break. We are talking about seven to ten years.”As the reason for the exit Razali mentions declining ratings, especially since 2014. This is mainly because that the sport has become more and more “boring” in contrast to the MotoGP.
Razali: Only Ross Brawn knows
Sepang still extends to 2021 and hopes for an extension. They do a very good job when it comes to motorcycles,”Ecclestone recognizes in conversation with”Reuters”. For a failure of formula 1 in Malaysia, however, he does not see himself as responsible: “With formula 1, they do not make money and what I said was that we did not deliver what they paid for. But it’s not our fault. We do not make the show.”
The 86-year-old believes that formula 1 will become more attractive again, especially through Ferraris, making it easier for promoters to sell tickets in the future. Razali has his doubts and criticizes Liberty Media in this context. The only person on board who knows about formula one is Ross Brawn. But he’s an engineer. He is a technician,”he says at”City A.M.”.
“Want to celebrate the last year”
That’s why Liberty Media has so far made little effort to make the last Formula One Grand Prix in Sepang special, Razali monitors:”We want to celebrate the last year. We don’t want to be too emotional, but Formula One is good-bye. That’s why we presented them with our plan. Unfortunately, this is something that they cannot help us with.”
After a meeting in Bahrain you want to sit down again in Barcelona. But Razali doesn’t seem to have much hope.” If they can’t even help us with our final, we are far from convinced that they are able to improve formula 1,”he says, advising Liberty Media to look at the MotoGP:”It is so successful because of the product… You don’t have to look far.”