F1 cars cost millions, the drivers are paid millions but seemingly the sport is broke.
Despite the razzmatazz and flag-waving that follows the F1 circus around the world, someone is picking up the tab.
In Malaysia, that’s the government who bankrolled the grand prix from 1999, but this year’s will be the last.
Why? Because the investment does not justify the return.
Too many hangers on and middle men have bloated the cost of staging a grand prix, and if a government cannot afford to fund the event, then few private companies or individuals have the resources to do so.
Yet another grand prix dropped from circus
Silverstone, the famous English circuit, is also waving goodbye to the grand prix, again citing cost as the reason why.
Although F1 attracts a huge worldwide TV audience, the realty is the sport does not touch the lives of many ordinary Malaysians, who have seen no improvement in living standards or their economy because of hosting the event.
Malaysia joined a clutch of nations embracing F1 at the behest of Bernie Ecclestone.
He’s gone and no longer acts as the glue that gels the sport together.
Turkey, India and South Korea have already vacated their seats at the F1 top table and new owners Liberty Media are looking to dump races at expensive purpose-built circuits that are expensive to maintain in favour of pop-up tracks in city centres.
Hamilton ahead in standings
F1 fans can get ready to bid a fond farewell to Malaysia and the feat of endurance winning represents after spending three hours or so in a fire-resistant suit at 50 degrees centigrade plus temperatures.
Lewis Hamilton has not chalked up much success at Sepang, winning just once. His rival Sebastian Vettel has four victories under his belt and a fifth would stand him in good stead on the driver’s table.
Qualifying is on September 30, with the race on Sunday at 07.30 BST.
Hamilton leads the driver’s table with 263 points and seven wins, followed by Vettel with 235 points and four victories from 14 races so far this season. Hamilton’s team mate Valtteri Bottas has two wins to his name and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo took the other.