Formula One: Malaysian Grand Prix extends contract for another three years

SEPANG - Malaysian Grand Prix organisers announced a three-year contract extension on Sunday that will take the race into its 20th edition in 2018.

Prime Minister Najib Razak announced the new deal after Sepang circuit officials spent much of the weekend negotiating with F1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone.

Malaysian oil and gas company Petronas was also confirmed as the title sponsor of the race for the period of the new contract.

The continuation of the race, which started in 1999, is good news for the financially onerous sport after the German Grand Prix was axed earlier this month.

It follows a thrilling race on Sunday when four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel held off the dominant Mercedes cars to claim his first win since joining Ferrari.

Sepang circuit chief Razlan Razali had earlier told AFP that Malaysia's government, which funds the race, regards it as an important promotional tool to lure foreign tourists.

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