The development of local talent in motorsports is more important than forking out huge amounts to organise the Grand Prix Formula 1 (F1) event which is no longer profitable, said Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
He said the country’s existing talents like Jazeman Jaafar, Nabil Jeffri and Akash Nandy who compete in the GP2 and GP3 races require more attention in terms of sponsorship to developing their careers.
“They have the potential, but no one is willing to sponsor them, when at the same time the government spends a large amount sponsoring a race which no longer brings returns, both sporting-wise or economically,” he said when commenting on the factors he considered in suggesting the country should stop organising the F1 race.
Khairy said the justification to suspend the organising of the annual race after the F1 contract ends in 2018 might have been different if Malaysia had its own drivers in the motorsport.
“We’ve had an F1 driver but it’s not a podium driver, and if we do not have a driver, then there aren’t much opportunities for mechanics and our officers to join a Formula One team,” he said after handing out the gold level of Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award (DofE), or known as ‘Anugerah Remaja Perdana Rakan Muda’, to 185 recipients here today.