Thailand aiming to host an F1 race in 2015

Thailand is one step closer to hosting a Formula One race in 2015 – if the Thai cabinet gives the go ahead.

SAT governor Kanokphand Chulakasem explained, “The racing contract is in my and Red Bull’s founder advisor, Michael de Santiesteban’s hands. However, before signing an official contact the authority has to present details to the Cabinet for final approval.”

He also revealed that Rajdamnoen Avenue, one of the venues on the short-list to host the F1 race, has already been inspected by the FIA and given positive feedback.

One obstacle currently facing the race is a new Thai law banning racing on city streets. The law has been passed in an attempt to prevent illegal motor cycle racing on the streets and if the F1 event is given the go ahead and is confirmed as a street race, an exemption will need to be made to the law to allow the event to go ahead.

Late last year there was some speculation that Thailand could host a race as early as 2014 however with no official confirmation, it appears that these were just unfounded rumours.

Thailand set to host 2015 race

It looks likely that Thailand will be hosting their first Formula One event in 2015. Although it was believed that Bangkok could host a race in 2014, Bernie Ecclestone told the Wall Street Journal that a Thai Street race will be on the calendar for the 2015 F1 season.

“An F1 race is likely to take place here in early 2015 instead of in 2014 in our initial plan,” Kanokphand Chulakasem, governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand, told the Bangkok Post.

It is believed Red Bull, whose co-owner Chalerm Yoovidkya is from Thailand, is involved in the preparations.

“I can say that it is almost 100 per cent certain that Thailand will host an F1 race,” said the energy drink’s representative Michael De Santiesteban, who reportedly met with Ecclestone last month. “With Thailand on the calendar,” he added, “a current race is likely to be removed.”

Source:GMM

F1 race news: France, Thailand and Australia

Despite the French government ruling out financial support, Paul Ricard could still be in the running to revive the country’s defunct grand prix.

Le Parisien said the Le Castellet project had already anticipated the government’s decision when it framed its EUR 30 million budget. The report also said a private overseas investor, as well as F1’s chief executive and Paul Ricard owner Bernie Ecclestone, could step in.

“We would have appreciated a few words of support and encouragement,” Paul Ricard director Stephane Clair is quoted by L’Equipe, “and we are disappointed, but it (the government’s decision) was completely expected.”

Clair said an early September race date would make sense.

“After the summer break, the F1 teams would be ready to contest three grands prix consecutively — Belgium, France and Italy,” he said.

Ecclestone is tipped to present the draft 2013 calendar to the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council for approval on Friday.

“I can quite imagine a grand prix de France in 2013,” Clair insisted.

RMC Sport said Paul Ricard officials are set to meet with Ecclestone in London this week.

Meanwhile, the Bangkok Post reports that the Kingdom of Thailand has “struck an initial deal” to host a formula one street race in 2014. The report said sports minister Kanokphand Chulakasem and an official representing Red Bull co-owner Chalerm Yoovidhya met with the F1 chief executive in Singapore last weekend.

“It will be a night race like the Singapore grand prix,” said Chulakasem.

In other grand prix host news, the state major events minister Louise Asher has said the Victorian government is “not comfortable” with the current cost of Melbourne’s Australian grand prix.

“My aim is to negotiate something that will cost the taxpayer less,” she told the Herald Sun.

Source:GMM

Thai Grand Prix could be a night race

If Thailand joins the F1 calendar in 2014, the southeast Asian country’s grand prix could be staged under lights, it has emerged.

Thailand made its intentions clear recently by successfully bidding to host this December’s end-of-season Race of Champions, and talks have also taken place about bringing formula one to the country.

“Our discussions with Bernie Ecclestone have gone smoothly. We expect to get rights to host a grand prix from 2014 onwards,” Kanokphand Chulakasem, governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand, said recently.

Asiancorrespondent.com now quotes Chulaksem as also saying: “The race might be held at night to accommodate viewers in Europe and help earn more in sponsorship.”

F1’s only artificially-lit races are in Singapore and Abu Dhabi.

There is speculation Thailand’s grand prix could be held on the streets of the capital Bangkok, on an upgraded Bira circuit 165km from Bangkok, or at a new purpose-built F1 facility.

Source:GMM

F1 heading to Thailand in 2014?

Thailand is on track to secure a round of the 2014 world championship. The southeast Asian country made its intentions clear recently by successfully bidding to host this year’s end-of-season Race of Champions in December, which will be attended by reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel.

Talks have also been taking place about bringing Formula One to Thailand.

“Our discussions with Bernie Ecclestone have gone smoothly. We expect to get rights to host a grand prix from 2014 onwards,” Kanokphand Chulakasem, governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand, is quoted by the Phuket News.

The Thai daily The Nation said 51 per cent Red Bull energy drink owner and co-founder Chalerm Yoovidhya is playing a role in the logistics of the Thai grand prix.

Source:GMM