APRIL 28, 1997
F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone is trying to convince the Malaysian government to push forward its plans to hold a Grand Prix in 1999. The FIA would like Malaysia to have a race at the end of 1998 although this would not be easy. The racing circuit at Putrajaya is an impressive project and work is already well advanced with foundation work on the track now being done. This will include piling beneath the entire circuit to ensure that there is no subsidence. The track has been designed by a German company and is being built by the Malaysian Airports authority, which is also building the new international airport nearby. That should be finished in time for the Commonwealth Games which are due to take place in September 1998. There is a small chance that there could be a race in October but the monsoon begins in November so that the date preferred by the Malaysians would be to have a race after the Australian GP in Melbourne in 1999.
There is considerable pressure from F1 sponsors to get into Malaysia and Ecclestone recently sent French GP organizer Philippe Gurdjian to Kuala Lumpur in an effort to convince the Malaysians to speed up the project.
Abd Himd bin Mohd Ali, general manager of the Malaysian Airports company was in Imola to discuss plans with Ecclestone.
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