Malaysian washout was 09’s dearest race

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

The late start meant the Malaysian Grand Prix couldn't be resumed
The late start meant the Malaysian Grand Prix couldn't be resumed

The organisers of the Malaysian Grand Prix paid the highest fee going to hold an F1 race in 2009 – but they only got half a race for it.

The Sepang circuit’s race cost them $45.7m (??28.56m / ??31.75m) to host this year. But the Grand Prix was abandoned after 31 of the scheduled 56 laps and half-points were awarded.

This was because the late start time imposed on the race organisers meant they were unable to complete the Grand Prix after it was interrupted by heavy rain.

The latest addition to the calendar – Abu Dhabi – was the next dearest, paying $45m for its Grand Prix. Singapore’s was the third most expensive, paying $44m.

At the other end of the scale Monaco paid nothing for its race and the Italian Grand Prix organisers paid $4.7m. The average fee for hosting a race was $28m.

The costs of the individual races are laid out in the latest edition of F1 business data analysis Formula Money. The report costs ??175 and is available from

To put the figures into perspective, a two-day seat at Sepang for the Grand Prix weekend costs between 500 and 2,600 Ringgit ($145 – $758).

As Bernie Ecclestone typically increases his prices by 7-10% per year, and the Malaysian Grand Prix is contracted until at least 2015, FOA stand to earn a lot more money from the race over the next six seasons. Hopefully they’ll get a full race for their money in 2010.

2009 Malaysian Grand Prix