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Formula One failing in Southeast Asia

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Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes in pole position at the start of the Malaysian Grand Prix in 2015 at Sepang.   © Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia will not extend its Formula One Grand Prix contract when it expires in 2018 because of poor financial returns on the 300 million ringgit ($68 million) it costs annually, a minister said on Monday.

Bernama, the state news agency, quoted Nazri Asiz, the minister of tourism and culture, saying that attendance had fallen off in recent years due to declining public interest. Press reports said that only just over half the tickets for F1 races had sold in recent years and TV audiences have slipped considerably.

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