Wednesday March 14th, 2001
The Malaysian Government has set up a scheme to attract Formula One fans to the Sepang circuit for this weekends Grand Prix.
The chairman of Malaysia's Sepang circuit, Basir Ismail, decided to stop live television race coverage in the country in an aim to increase attendance.
Now the government hopes their new plans will create that attendance increase and allow the coverage back on air.
Sports minister Hishammuddin Hussein said: "The ministry has identified a way to boost support for F1 and we will try to get 2,000 volunteers whose tickets will be paid for by sponsors."
"The ministry is serious about helping SIC (Sepang International Circuit) and restoring the live telecast for fans throughout the country."
Ticket sales have dropped since the first Malaysian event two years ago, and their current level leaves the circuit far from the financial break-even point.
But the circuit's decision has left Formula One fans disappointed as the price of tickets is too high to allow them to attend the race.
Basir, however, has said that he would restore the live coverage if the predicted attendance figures rose before the race.