PUTRAJAYA – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wants Malaysia to continue holding the FIA Formula E championship to popularise motor sports locally as well as promote the country in the international arena.
Describing the debut of the Formula E championship in Malaysia as a huge success, he said the race had attracted encouraging response from local and foreign racers and motor sports fans.
“It is my hope for us to continue (hosting the race) as it takes several years to popularise it,” he told Bernama after witnessing the Formula E race at the street circuit in Putrajaya here today.
He also presented prizes to the winner, Sam Bird, who represented Virgin Racing Formula E.
Also present were former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the Prime Minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and Chief Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa.
Najib said based on the feedback and reaction of racers, it was found they were impressed with the street racing circuit in Putrajaya.
“They said the track was among the best,” he said after meeting the participants just before race started.
“The winner said the race here is very exciting,” he added.
The Prime Minister was also very happy with the crowd turnout as the race held for the first time here attracted about 91,000 local and foreign motor sports enthusiasts.
He said the international championship was also extensively covered by 120 television stations worldwide.
“The successful race also showcases Malaysia and especially Putrajaya to the world community,” he said.
The Formula E race is a new championship of FIA involving fully electric cars on street circuits in 10 leading cities in the world including Beijing, Berlin, London and Miami.
Putrajaya with its 2.56 km street circuit is the second race after the first leg in Beijing, China on Sept 13.
Twenty international racers from 10 teams are competing in the electric car race.
Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir said he hoped Malaysia would continue to organise Formula E as it promotes Malaysia at the international level.
“The championship is a very good thing. People can see Putrajaya and it will raise their desire to come to Malaysia,” he said. – BERNAMA