20200614 Malaysia can rescue Formula One’s 2020 season. This is how.

What about the money?

One of the reasons given for Sepang giving up with F1 was the cost. Let’s leave aside all the reasons why revenue was falling and accept that the F1 model of charging vast amounts to host racing is already under pressure around the world. F1 is losing its prestige as it hunts for new venues where governments are willing to pay, until they find out the financial realities. The model has to change and it is already, quietly, doing so.

But in these critical times, it has to change again. With no spectators and no or only a tiny share of TV revenue, there is no incentive for a country like Malaysia to pay to bring F1 back.

But there is an incentive, even an imperative, for F1 to pay to use Malaysia’s facilities. Treat it as a track-day on steroids.

And, of course, F1 must guarantee to cover the medical costs of anyone who tests positive for CoVid-19 on arrival, during or on departure from the event including local marshals and other contractors.

That would tie in with the essential changes in rules to allow foreigners to enter the country and to excuse them quarantine / self-isolation – so long as they stay within the boundaries of the isolation zone.

Malaysia has been very effective in creating what it calls “Enhanced Movement Control Orders” in which areas are completely sealed for a period of, usually, two weeks. So, there’s no need to learn anything new – just redeploy the teams that have experience.

Aside from that, it’s business as usual – with a week (plus whatever acclimatisation time they choose) in Malaysia to ride bikes, run and play with cars around an otherwise empty race-track or bring their own fast karts and/or dirt bikes to have fun on the facilities within the boundaries of the circuit for a few days between the end of one race weekend and the start of the next.

So can it happen?