Malaysia Withdraws as Host of 2024 Formula E-Prix Grand Finale

Malaysia has announced its withdrawal as the host of next year’s Formula E-Prix grand finale, citing substantial upfront financial demands from the championship’s owner. The decision follows escalating tensions between Formula E and its local partner, Sports Tech Holdings, due to increased rights fees and unexpected commercial charges.

According to FMT, The conflict intensified when Sports Tech opted to move the event from the Kuala Lumpur City Circuit to the Sepang International Circuit (SIC), a decision that Formula E opposed. Sports Tech CEO Wan Agyl Wan Hassan explained that the switch was necessitated by technical difficulties with the city street circuit. However, the financial implications of hosting the event at SIC proved insurmountable.

While the exact financial demands from Formula E remain undisclosed due to a non-disclosure agreement, the decision to withdraw marks a significant setback for Sports Tech, which had been in advanced stages of planning to revive the E-Prix in Malaysia after a decade-long hiatus.

Talks stalled after Malaysian authorities approved the event about a month ago. Differences in expectations regarding the event’s scope and financial framework were cited as the main reasons for the withdrawal. The significant upfront costs, coupled with a reassessment of potential returns, led Sports Tech to reconsider its involvement.

Earlier this year, Sports Tech secured conditional rights from Formula E to manage the final race until 2030. The grand finale was expected to inject RM157.5 million into the local economy through visitor spending and create over 10,000 jobs. Over the next decade, the event was forecasted to contribute RM6.73 billion to Malaysia’s economy.

Formula E, officially the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, features open-wheel single-seater electric cars. Malaysia previously hosted the Putrajaya E-Prix in 2014 and 2015 at a specially designed street circuit in the administrative capital.

Fuelled by cigarettes, coffee and 90's rock music

Related Articles