Malaysian washout was 09’s dearest race

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

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47 comments on Malaysian washout was 09’s dearest race

  1. In regards to Monaco, that is the one venue that F1 simply cannot do without, for pretty much everyone involved. As a result, Prince Albert and company can pretty much stand up to Bernie and speak their mind on whatever they want to. A key example is trackside adverts, which I am surprised none of you have mentioned yet…..

    Watch Monaco, and you are bound to see many different trackside billboards from what you see at most other Grands Prix. The reason is because under normal contracts, FOM has all rights to trackside advertising at Grands Prix. But Monaco demands different, and can afford to do so…hence, you see billboards like that Martini model that was distracting drivers going into the tunnel last year :) Another difference is TV feed- Monaco is one of only two races (Japan being the other) where Bernie’s FOM TV company doesn’t produce the race- that’s why sometimes you see better camera shots during accidents and wrecks than what the normal FOM feed leaves out and then saves for the season-ending DVD.

    You see, even Bernie has a weak spot. But Monaco is pretty much the only race that can stand up to him in such a fashion……

  2. I was there…Many people were not happy after the race was over…

  3. Interesting, because I was just watching this years Singapore GP again and the BBC’s pundits said it costs them £50m to put on this event. I’d really like to buy the FormulaMoney book but the price is way to steep for me. Perhaps I’ll ask my local library to get it in 0:)…

  4. Steve_P83 said on 29th December 2009, 16:07

    I really wish Bernie would cut a deal with Indianapolis Motor Speedway for an US Grand Prix. As long as he continues to ask insanely high prices, there is no chance of a US GP there. IMS is owned by one family and there is NO chance that the American government will give money to cover the cost of an F1 race happening anywhere. IMS is where the race belongs and it already has the facilities built. It’s just a shame Bernie demands a deal from a track that basically forces the track to lose money on the race.

    • R.E.M. said on 29th December 2009, 20:00

      There won’t be a USGP until Bernie is gone. Considering a sanction fee for Nascar is about $1 Million (with national exposure) compared to around $10 Million (to show to a absurdly loyal, but niche audience) for an F1 race, I wonder what race a promoter would choose? The only bright side for F1 is if the IndyCar series collapses. I have a feeling Bernie would charge little (if any) amount to host the Indianapolis 500.

    • I would really like to see the USGP at Indy, but the odds of it happeneing are pretty much zero. The reason is that the officials at IMS who were behind the F1 deals are no longer working with the place. This includes not just Tony George, but former CEO Joie Citwood, who was key in dealing with Bernie and company.

      • Steve_P83 said on 30th December 2009, 14:40

        That’s true and the new leader of IMS is all about making the Speedway profitable. There is absolutely no chance of the speedway signing a contract that doesn’t make financial returns. There is a very slim chance that Bernie will drop his asking price. So, we’re left with a stalemate. Sad to say, but I’d rather not even have a USGP if it’s going to be some stupid hastily designed street track!

  5. IMS an CVC are locked in a 22 plus million dollar law suit…you will never be GP of USA until this is over

    • HounslowBusGarage said on 30th December 2009, 10:39

      That sounds interesting, dj. Can you give us some details? I assume it relates to the last GP – non-payment? Or is it something to do with 2005?

    • Same here- any details you can provide would be much appreciated. I haven'[t heard a word about this until now, so please pass along what you can.

      Even without the lawsuit, the days of F1 at IMS are long over…..

  6. Mike "the bike" Schumacher said on 31st December 2009, 0:51

    Eccelstone and Max managed somehow to reduce costs for teams enough to see 4 new teams next year and the return of sauber. So why can’t they reduce the costs for the circuts.

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