Will F1 return to Malaysia after possible Petronas funding? Exploring the possibility

As Formula One continues to gain widespread popularity, many affluent nations are actively seeking the opportunity to host a Grand Prix to enhance the prestige of the sport within their borders and capitalise on the associated economic benefits.

In a recent development, Malaysia’s state-owned oil company, Petronas, has demonstrated an interest in hosting an event during the 2026 season, now that their economic condition has improved.

Is F1 returning to Malaysia?

According to three sources, Petronas or Petroliam Nasional is looking forward to hosting a Formula 1 event in 2026 again after a huge nine-year gap. Malaysia’s only Fortune 500 company, Petronas, won the naming rights to the SIC for three years in October last year.

Petrona’s initiative to bring back the event in their country eventually unfolded during the company town hall led by the firm’s President and Chief Executive, Tengku Muhammad Taufik Tengku Aziz, on Tuesday, as claimed by consecutive sources. However, they firmly declined to publicly speak on this matter, as they were still not authorised to speak to the media.

Even the official sources refused to reveal the reasons for the sudden decision to return to the sport. The SIC, the Malaysian prime minister’s office, and Petronas were reluctant to address the comment requests from everyone.

Contrary to Malaysia’s sports minister Hannah Yeoh’s statement last year, which stated, “If we could host an F1 race, we already would have done it—but for now, we can’t afford to have races,” the main reason for the sudden change of decision has not been fully revealed yet.

When did Malaysia last host an F1 race?

Malaysia has taken a huge break from hosting Formula One races due to its financial condition earlier. The country last held an F1 Grand Prix in 2017 at its Sepang International Circuit (SIC).

As usual, Max Verstappen, despite being a fresh starter and having made his debut in 2015, has secured the ultimate victory at the Sepang Circuit. With the declaration of a comeback for Malaysia in the F1 calendar for 2026, fans are yet to witness if Verstappen still has the agenda to maintain the winning streak he started nine years ago.

Do you think that the addition of the Malaysian GP will be beneficial for the sport? Let us know your opinions in the comment section below.


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