The future of the Malaysian grand prix could take shape during a key meeting later this month.
It has emerged that officials of the race near Kuala Lumpur, whilst extending their separate deal with MotoGP until 2021, are considering axing the 17-year-old F1 race at Sepang.
However, a valid contract with Bernie Ecclestone’s FOM is in place until 2018.
So Speed Week reports that new Sepang chairman Tan Sri Mohamed Azman Yahya will accompany fellow race official Razlan Razali to next month’s 2016 finale in Abu Dhabi.
In Abu Dhabi, they are slated to meet with Ecclestone and propose a compromise, whereby Sepang agrees to host the 2017 race but not the one in 2018.
The report indicated that if F1 supremo Ecclestone does not agree, the Sepang chiefs are prepared to not host the 2017 race either and fight it out in court.
Sepang’s F1 exit would not be a good look for the category, given the circuit’s enthusiasm about keeping the MotoGP in place for a further five years.
“Negotiation was not difficult because both Sepang and us wanted to continue having the event here,” said MotoGP chief Carmelo Ezpeleta last week.