Thailand aiming for 2014 F1 calendar slot UPDATE #4 Sports Authority of Thailand Gov. Kanokphand Chulakasem today said that the country "would definitely get the green light" to stage an F1 race in November '14. The event, to be titled the "Formula One Grand Prix Thailand," is "likely to be a night race." Details, including the fee and venue, are "still to be finalized." Kanokphand said, "A contract is likely to be signed later this year. It is likely to be a one-year deal with an option to extend." BANGKOKPOST.com
Thailand could be ready to host a Grand Prix as early as 2014, according to the governor of the country’s Sports Authority.
The Bangkok Post reports that Kanokphand Chulakasem, who met with Bernie Ecclestone in Singapore, says that a deal was agreed in principle.
“It will be a city race like that in Singapore and Monaco,” he said. “It will be a night race like the Singapore Grand Prix.”
However he also conceded that details such as the fee have yet to be determined, which suggests that any announcement is somewhat premature.
Two years ago Mark Webber did a street demonstration on a course laid out on Ratchadamnoen Avenue, in the vicinity of the proposed track.
Thailand has a population of around 65m – which would make it the seventh largest current F1 host after China, India, USA, Brazil, Japan and Germany – and would be an interesting market for sponsors.
Inevitably much of the impetus for the event comes from Thai-owned Red Bull and its associated beer brand, Singha. Interest in the country has been increasing, and prospects for a race have been discussed for some time.
With the support of the aforementioned companies the country is already hosting this year’s Race of Champions event in December, with the likes of Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel in attendance.
Thailand’s major claim to racing fame is of course Prince Birabongse Bhanudej Bhanubandh of Siam, better known as B Bira. He competed in Europe with considerable success with ERAs before WW2, and later started 19 World Championship races between 1950 and 1954 in Maserati, Connaught and Gordini chassis. Adam Cooper F109/27/12 (GMM) 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.06/15/12 (GMM) 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.03/27/12 Thailand could host a F1 grand prix in two to three years after reportedly receiving tentative backing from Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz.
"We are in talks," Mateschitz told the Bangkok Post. "Thailand could host a Formula One race in the next two to three years."
The co-founder of Red Bull, a Thai-Austrian joint venture, said Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone also supported the idea.
"Ecclestone agrees with the idea," Mateschitz was quoted as saying. "We may sign an agreement soon."
Mateschitz was in Bangkok last weekend to attend the funeral of Chaleo Yoovidhya, the Thai entrepreneur who launched the Red Bull energy drink in Thailand and went on to set up a joint venture with Mateschitz in 1987 to make the product in Austria for the European market.