F1 confirms Malaysian GP won't continue beyond 2017

This year's Malaysian Grand Prix will be the last in the country after a joint decision was taken by Formula One and the Sepang International Circuit not to continue beyond 2017.

The race has been on the calendar since 1999 and it was one of the first of the modern-generation, Hermann Tilke-designed F1 circuits. However, the news hardly comes as a surprise after a series of statements from government and circuit officials last year that said the race would not renew its contract.

"It's always sad to say goodbye to a member of the Formula One family," F1's managing director of commercial operations Sean Bratches said. "Over nearly two decades, the Malaysian Formula One fans have proven themselves to be some of the sport's most passionate supporters.

"As we said in Melbourne, we have big plans for bringing our global fan base closer to the sport than ever before, providing an enhanced digital experience and creating new events. We're looking forward to talking more about these plans as the season progresses.

"We will have 21 exciting events to look forward to in the 2018 calendar, with the additions of the French and German races. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the Sepang International Circuit for their hospitality and professionalism over the years, and their ongoing commitment to motorsport."

F1's new owners have talked about the importance of keeping "heritage races" in Europe and have targeted the North America as an area of expansion for future grands prix.