Anger as ticket company closure leaves many F1 fans out of pocket

F1 Fanatic round-up

Crowd, Monza, 2011In the round-up: the apparent closure of the Simply the Ticket company website has left some F1 fans confused, angry and ticketless.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Angry F1 fans left high and dry as ticket company fails (JAonF1)

??Many F1 fans have found themselves without tickets for upcoming Grands Prix, including the British GP at Silverstone, despite paying for them, due to the apparent closure of a business called Simply The Ticket. Fans, many of whom are travelling to Valencia this week for the European GP, became alarmed when tickets did not arrive and have been trying to get information over the weekend. The company?s website and Twitter account are no longer active.??

Whitmarsh: Greener engines key for F1 (Autosport)

Martin Whitmarsh: ??If F1 is perceived as a gas-guzzling sport that has no regard to the technologies that are very relevant to automotive companies, then we really promote the wrong image. F1 should be about efficiency. People are talking about the efficient use of resources. No sport should be at liberty to spend almost unlimited amounts of money and resource with no focus on efficiency.??

Pirelli tip Schu to make it eight (Eurosport)

Paul Hembery: ??I think you have to look at someone like, maybe Michael getting the pole position. He probably would have won Monaco if he hadn’t been penalised, so why not there? Michael for Valencia, that’s where the money needs to go.??

Europe preview quotes – Williams, Pirelli, McLaren, Lotus & more (Formula1.com)

Jenson Button: ??We?ve had seven different winners and no clear championship leader has emerged, so I?ll be looking to get a decent result under my belt next weekend in order to get my title bid back on track. I know just how strong Vodafone McLaren Mercedes can be. Valencia is a track I really enjoy; I?ve already won on a street circuit this year so I?m definitely optimistic about having a great weekend and picking up the momentum again in the title fight.??

F1 executive David Campbell left with $10m stake after less than a year in job (Telegraph)

??Documents recently filed by the Formula 1’s Jersey-based parent company Delta Topco show that David Campbell was awarded a stake ?ǣ understood to be 0.1pc ?ǣ in the motor-racing business, which is estimated to be valued at $10bn when it is floated. The holding is split between former London O2 Arena boss Mr Campbell and his wife Tracey and comes despite his resignation in April, having been appointed to the role [head of marketing and hospitality] in July last year.??

Swamped US organisers consider extra stands (ESPN)

????We have experienced incredible demand for reserved grandstand seating tickets, and customers have quickly purchased our available inventory,” said Julie Loignon, COTA’s vice president of public and community relations. “As such, we are considering installing more reserved seats between Turns 9 and 10 and between Turns 11 and 12 in place of other types of seating that had been planned for those areas.”??

Youngsters race for F1 chance (ITV)

??Fifty young people are in the final stretch in the race to grab an opportunity to work with F1 world champions Red Bull.They are battling for one of five internships in five key areas of the business. The month long schemes are in aerodynamics, electronics, marketing, IT and procurement. Milton Keynes-based Red Bull were keen to open the opportunities to anyone aged 16 or over, regardless of experience.??

Williams wins at Le Mans! (Joe Saward)

??Audi has won the Le Mans 24 Hours for the 11th time in 13 years, with victory this year going to Andr?? Lotterer, Ben???it Tr??luyer and Marcel Fassler (the same trio as won last year), but this year they were in an Audi R18 e-tron quattro, a hybrid which uses the Williams Hybrid Power flywheel KERS system. A second Audi R18 e-tron quattro finished second, driven by Tom Kristensen, Rinaldo Capello and Allan McNish.??

Get well soon, Ant (Sky)

??Anthony Davidson has described himself as “overwhelmed” by the messages of support he has received in the wake of his horrific crash during the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race on Saturday. The Sky Sports F1 co-commentator and analyst suffered two broken vertebrae after a collision with the Ferrari of Piergiuseppe Perazzini flipped his Toyota airborne and into a tyre wall.??

F1 Racing David Coulthard Red Bull Team in Baku 17.06.2012 (YouTube)

Red Bull Racing and BBC F1 commentator David Coulthard paid a visit to the city of Baku in Azerbaijan on Sunday for a demonstration run. Here’s amateur footage from the event.

Comment of the day

Guest writer Tim Ferrone has revealed his pick for the top five greatest ever car designers in F1 history. Do you agree with his choice for number 1? Prisoner Monkeys explains why he believes Colin Chapman should take the top spot.

Personally, I think Newey is a little over-rated. Not so over-rated that he doesn?t deserve to be on the list at all, but I?d be very hesitant to name him the greatest of all time. To my mind, Colin Chapman deserves that title. Newey once said that when he was young and inspiration hit, he had to write it down or draw a design, even if it was three in the morning, but as he got older, he grew confident that the idea would still be there in the morning. I think Chapman would maintained this I-have-to-write-this-down-right-now approach even into his old age.

I also find that some of Chapman?s innovations were a bit more pure, for want of a better word. When he built the Lotus 88, he could have made something that would have beaten the competition and stayed comfortably within the rules ?ǣ but instead, he built one of the most creative and precise pieces of engineering the sport has ever seen, and all in the name of pushing the limits of engineering. On the other hand, I can?t see Newey doing something like that, risking the entire car being banned in the pursuit of engineering. To my mind, car racing was just a means to an end to Chapman; a competitive environment would allow him to explore the limits of engineering faster and better than if he did it as a side project.

I also think some of Newey?s designs are over-stated. A lot of people expected Red Bull to be in front this year, not because they had the best drivers or the best team, but because they had Adrian Newey, as if HRT could recruit him and de la Rosa and Karthikeyan would be fighting for the World Championship overnight. That hasn?t happened for Red Bull; the RB8 is a good car, but it is hardly the standout of the field (right now, I think the McLaren, Lotus and Sauber are probably the three with the most potential). Don?t get me wrong ?ǣ Newey is very, very good at what he does, but I think far too many people consider him to be the fact that ultimately decides a team?s success or failure, as if the drivers and engineers play no part in it.
Prisoner Monkeys

From the forum

Who will be the first repeat winner of this year’s season?

Also, after being crashed into and taken out of the Le Mans 24 Hours, what is next for the Deltawing project?

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Titch!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Jacques Laffite charged to victory in the Swedish Grand Prix 35 years ago today. He worked his way up to second place and was poised to take advantage when Mario Andretti ran low on fuel late in the race.

It was the first ever victory for him and Ligier. Jochen Mass was second for McLaren ahead of Carlos Reutemann’s Ferrari.

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94 comments on Anger as ticket company closure leaves many F1 fans out of pocket

  1. Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 19th June 2012, 0:16

    I thought the European laws were strict enough to prevent such illegal closures

    • xeroxpt (@) said on 19th June 2012, 3:09

      usually this kind of stuff never hits F1 if my memory is not playing tricks on me F1 would never allow something like this yet it has happened, like you’ve mentioned.

      • RevIt said on 19th June 2012, 17:18

        Wrong!!! 2006 at Spa…….Well it was more the company that went bankrupt and didn’t payed the tickets back.

  2. Yep, that ticket thing is like something out of my nightmares! I feel awful for the people that happened to. (We bought our British GP tickets through the site you get redirected to from the official F1 site, so I’m guessing we’ll probably be okay — although our tickets still have not arrived…)

  3. icemangrins (@icemangrins) said on 19th June 2012, 0:31

    I don’t think we can draw parallels between a drivers performance between Monaco and Valencia. One can only hope that Michael will perform grab handful of points in the European gp. Even if hell broke loose and he puts his W03 on pole, he has to fight with the huge reliability issues.

    Anyways, looking forward to this weekend as usual.

    On the other hand, iam quite miffed with the COTA……..grand seats can’t be purchased without paying a mammoth $5000 psl fee….and ticketmaster don’t offer much choice on other seats.

    • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 19th June 2012, 2:16

      Agreed. Valencia is a much closer parallel to Singapore.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 19th June 2012, 4:23

      Remember, it’s all about the tyres, Pirelli supply each drivers tyres, Paul (and Bernie ) might know something we don’t.

      • Dusty in California (@dusty-in-california) said on 19th June 2012, 6:49

        This is why I believe it’s incredibly bad form for Hembery to speculate on who will win. Suppose Schumacher does win next week? The tire conspiracy theorists will go crazy, and even rational fans will start to wonder.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th June 2012, 10:29

          The tire conspiracy theorists will go crazy, and even rational fans will start to wonder.

          I disagree. Hembrey knows the tyres better than anyone else, and Pirelli get feedback from all the teams on tyre performance and behavior. If anything, Paul Hembrey is best-positioned to make accurate predictions about who will be strong and who will not because he has the msot information at hand.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 19th June 2012, 7:22

      $5,000? That’s steep.

      I think the Austin event is off for an epic opening. After encouraging words from Whiting they come up with some eye popping news about tickets sales (or intended buys).

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th June 2012, 9:05

        @jcost – The $5,000 is for a “Personal Seat Licence”, which is modelled on an NFL system where you can buy the rights to a seat in a stadium so that you can attend every game. It’s basically a season pass. The idea behind it is that fans of racing can buy a seat in the main grandstand and/or Turn 1 – which were designed to see as much of the circuit as possible; at Turn 1, you can supposedly see as much as 80% of the circuit – and attend every event at the circuit. Right now, the circuit is only hosting Formula 1, V8 Supercars and American Le Mans, but I think the PSL shows just how ambitious the circuit’s management is. They’re trying to get MotoGP in, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they start trying to host rounds for the GP2 Series, World Endurance Championship, GT1 World Series, World Touring Cars, World Superbike, World Series by Renault, DTM, SuperGT, TC2000, Grand-Am, a third road course for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Trucks Series, NASCAR Toyota (the Mexican version), Canadian Tire Series (the Canadian version), and even Indycar and Indy Lights if they can manage it. That’s seventeen series in addition to the three confirmed and MotoGP (which is currently in limbo); if the circuit can attract even half of those, a Personal Racing Licence will become very attractive to motorsport enthusiasts. Imagine what it would be like if they got all twenty-one …

        • JCost (@jcost) said on 19th June 2012, 10:35

          For a “season seat” $5 k seems Ok.

          The idea behind it is that fans of racing can buy a seat in the main grandstand and/or Turn 1 – which were designed to see as much of the circuit as possible;

          I’ve read it before, if it’s true, that’s probably the best stands in the world of motorsports.

        • Thecollaroyboys (@thecollaroyboys) said on 19th June 2012, 10:45

          Tell them to give me a call when they’ve signed up 17 series. Until then its all hopes and dreams on your dime. Anyone who stumps up five gorillas for that deal needs to have their head read.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 19th June 2012, 17:36

            That’s still going to be £200+ per event. I imagine most of those races would cost less or much less than £50 normally. Sounds like a massive rip-off even if they do find plenty of series.

  4. timi (@timi) said on 19th June 2012, 0:48

    @prisoner-monkeys Wow. Your COTD is genuinely a very well made case for Chapman, and I for one have been swayed by your analysis/comparison between him and Newey.

    But, the last paragraph really struck a chord with me! It’s as if you took the thoughts in my head and then wrote them out into an eloquent, well-fashioned prose. Beautiful, just beautiful.

    • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 19th June 2012, 5:19

      I think I agree with the idea, but at the same time, it’s hard to compare two different eras. Newey is probably the best of this current F1 era, but Chapman was the master back when you could be more innovative. Adrian may have been able to come up with similarly radical designs back in Chapman’s era, too.

      • coefficient (@coefficient) said on 19th June 2012, 11:24

        Despite the severe technical restrictions Newey is still able to innovate every year. Chapman had a much freer hand and the scope for innovation was far greater in his day. Newey operates at a far higher level scientifically as you would expect with the advances made over time so it is unfair to compare the 2 men. Newey is forced to focus on ever narrower avenues of research in order to find this years silver bullet but he still manages to do it. Relatively speaking, Chapman had the luxury of total creative freedom therefore his opportunities were greater than Newey’s. It’s hard to say which of these challenges is greater but I think Newey has the harder job personally and as such deserves the top spot. He took RB to regular race wins within 3 years and the title in 4, can anyone beat that?

    • Kimi4WC said on 19th June 2012, 7:12

      Old same, who is the best. A wise man would know better to not engage in such debate, but that is not as entertaining!!! :)

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th June 2012, 7:24

      @timi – Thank you for the compliment. You have just been inceptioned. Inceptioned? Incepted? Inceptionated?

      I need to find a way to use “inception” as a verb.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 19th June 2012, 7:45

      Colin Chapman was dead before I was born, so everything I know about him comes from books and old school highlights. I think my opinion on that matter will always be biased in favour of Newey who, for me, is closely followed by Rory Byrne.

      On my book, Newey is not overstated, his work is noteworthy, sure we cannot take eliminate drivers merit but the team of technicians Newey leads is responsible for giving drivers dominating machines that make their job so much easier. It doesn’t mean he’s the only talented man in F1. Therefore, expecting Red Bull to dominate every championship just because Newey is the has never crossed my mind (and it’s not even consistent with history).

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 19th June 2012, 10:50

      I can’t see Newey doing something like that, risking the entire car being banned in the pursuit of engineering

      The only trouble with that is that the modern environment doesn’t allow it. Costs are so much higher that it couldn’t be done, as finding a replacement solution (in this case, a whole new car) would likely bankrupt the best funded teams, and he doesn’t have the grounds to risk something like that anyway, seeing as unlike Chapman he doesn’t run his team. However, he did take one gamble- although the MP4-18 wasn’t at risk of being banned, it was still a risk for the pursuit of fine engineering.

  5. timi (@timi) said on 19th June 2012, 0:51

    Oh, and the Simply The Ticket fiasco is absolutely ridiculous. I can’t believe this sort of thing has been allowed to happen. Would the tracks not have some sort of fail-safe? Nor FOTA? Heck, even the FIA must surely demand fail-safes be put in place were this sort of thing ever to happen.

    I really feel for the fans who have been affected by this. It’s just not right. Some of those tickets cost a fortune.

    • Thecollaroyboys (@thecollaroyboys) said on 19th June 2012, 1:17

      Isn’t it the owners of the circuits or individual race promoters who have the rights to sell tickets? It’s similar to the way any travel agent would work, they’re really just booking agents for airlines/resorts/events. So if the travel agent goes under then it’s not the airline’s fault. In Australia there is an insurance scheme for registered travel agents but I wouldn’t think that a ticket “agency” would come under the same rules. I think even the F1.com site is an “agency” and not a ticket “originator”. My guess is that if the FIA or Bernie tried to restrict ticket sales to approved providers they’d get complaints that they are restricting trade.

      On another note, I believe that the race tickets are only produced a month or so out from the event so it gives counterfeiters less time to make copies of the official tickets.

  6. Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 19th June 2012, 1:10

    Really good to see the US GP seeing strong sales. I’m always reminded of the message that F1 needs an American round if it’s to be a global sport, so it’s good to see it go back there on a circuit built specifically for this type of racing, much like Watkins Glen was when it maintained a strong following.

    The acid test is yet to come, though, as year two will truly test how popular the sport is. That especially true considering that the grand prix in New Jersey is set to go ahead then. With the prospect of trying to attract fans deep into NASCAR country, it’ll be interesting to see how the organisers fare.

    • codesurge (@codesurge) said on 19th June 2012, 3:45

      It’s a bit unfortunate that the non-PSL grandstand seats were limited enough that people who weren’t able to get the original sections they wanted sprung for less-desirable sections or GA for fear of missing out altogether. If they do go ahead and build new grandstands, COTA may have to deal with quite a few disgruntled customers.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 19th June 2012, 7:29

      This very unique season will be positive for the opening US GP at COTA. The race must be a thriller full memorable racing moments because in the end of the day it’s a good race that buys people souls.

  7. Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 19th June 2012, 1:19

    Is comparing Newey and Chapman really fair? You can really consider Chapman to be the engineer, pushing technology as far as it will go, with the fact it will be used for racing mere detail. By contrast, Newey is the designer, focusing on the task at hand and thinking “what’s the best known way to do this?”

    Both approaches are successful and commendable, but the scope of Chapman’s innovations is legendary — the monocoque chassis, making the engine a stressed part of the car, inventing ground effect and pushing it to the limit, I believe he even dabbled with a primitive form of active suspension shortly before his death. He was the mover who oversaw them all. Where Newey comes in is refining the idea and really incorporating it into the rest of the car or doing it in a more efficient way. Going back to my analogy, the engineer makes the breakthrough, the designer really makes it work.

  8. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 19th June 2012, 1:34

    I didn’t agree with @prisoner-monkeys twice already on that subject, so I’m gonna stay up and say: “I don’t agree” :P.

  9. Cacarella (@cacarella) said on 19th June 2012, 2:32

    I can’t believe I’m going to say this but… I totally agree with @prisoner-monkeys.
    If anyone needs me I’ll be taking a very long shower… Must. get. dirt. off….

  10. raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 19th June 2012, 5:53

    I thought it was a bad move on Hembery’s part. Him bringing up a prediction can only bring bad things. If Schumacher then doesn’t win (wrong prediction) then he’ll be an idiot. If Schumacher does win (right prediction) people will accuse him of race fixing and giving Schumacher tyres from 2010.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 19th June 2012, 13:12

      I just wonder if Hembery is serving a few purposes by pointing out to those that like 7 winners in 7 races, that it could be an eighth, while at the same time somewhat patting himself on the back for it being about the tires this year. And at the same time, since MS got ‘symbolic’ pole at Monaco, and he is the same driver who was the most publicly critical of the tires, Hembery is kind of giving MS a shot by saying subliminally something like ‘you sure you don’t want to retract your statements about the tires, Michael?’ You could have won Monaco and I say you might win Valencia.

      He got ‘pole’ at Monaco and could have won it but for the penalty, so ‘what do you have to say about the tires now?’ might be what Hemberey has in mind. And by promoting him as potential winner at Valencia, in a way he is pre-empting more criticism of the tires by saying even the most critical can win on them. And in spite of the criticism by some that F1 is a lottery this year, a win by MS would be a sentimental boon for many.

      It’s a bit ironic that MS got the penalty before Monaco for hitting a car that was on a different tire strategy that saw him going way slower than MS and it caught MS off guard. So MS could still blame the tires in a way, not just Senna, for his penalty leading into Monaco.

      I certainly don’t think that if MS wins Hembery will be accused of giving MS 2010 tires…I highly doubt he has the ability to do that, nor do I see why Hembery would be motivated to help MS that way, when he never thought there was anything wrong with his company’s tires to begin with and said so in response to MS’s criticism from several weeks ago.

    • Alain (@paganbasque) said on 19th June 2012, 14:52

      This is quite stupid, because Michael truly hates 2010 tyres. The only problem of Michael with Pirelly is the lack of constancy, he knows how to get the grip but he has great problems with the degradation(as many others). With Bridgestone 2010 tyres Michael was incapable of getting any grip, he commented more than once that those tyres were the strangest ones he has ever seen in his F1 career.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 19th June 2012, 15:37

        Yeah that’s true, I hadn’t thought back to 2010 when MS was complaining of lack of front grip…didn’t remember him calling them the strangest ones he had ever seen…but anyway I think raymondu999 must have meant 2011 since this is only year 2 of Pirelli, his point (and mine in response) being Hembery might be accused of giving MS better tires than the ones he is now bemoaning.

        • Alain (@paganbasque) said on 20th June 2012, 7:45

          Yes, but sometimes I think that all this kind of paranoia only appears when its something related to Schumi. And I know no one of us will accuse Hembery of this, but hey, stupid rumours and accusations always appear between races, too much free time in some pages? ;) (Not this one, of course)

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 19th June 2012, 21:15

      @raymondu999 I doubt it to be honest. He certainly won’t look an idiot for predicting the result incorrectly, I think most of us are doing that at the moment! Plus, there’s no way their tyres can favour one car so soon before a race, not possible.

  11. BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th June 2012, 6:20

    happy birthday Titch!

  12. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th June 2012, 7:16

    There should be a Grand Prix in Azerbaijan simply because the name of the country is awesome.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 19th June 2012, 7:34

      By the way, looking at the current calendar which country wins the prize for the most “awesome name”?
      Bahrain?

    • Julian (@julian) said on 19th June 2012, 7:48

      How about an Antarctica Ice GP on a narrow-ish track with 30+ corners. Last driver standing wins.
      Now there’s an entertaining waste of money.

      Oh and the winners trophy, shaped like a penguin.

    • necrodethmortem (@necrodethmortem) said on 19th June 2012, 8:58

      Tilke has an office there, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there have been talks before.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th June 2012, 9:57

        @necrodethmortem – I doubt it would happen. The Caucasus is notoriously unstable. Azerbaijan is technically at war with Amernia over Nagorno-Karabakh and Naxcivan, though Azerbaijan is not considered to be the aggressor; both Nagorno-Karabakh and Naxcivan are recognised as part of Azerbaijan, and both recognise the Azeri government.

        Besides, Sochi is not that far away from Baku. Having two races there doesn’t seem wise, since the area isn’t highly populated the way Kuala Lumpur and Singapore are. I could maybe understand Azeris being reluctant to travel to Russia, since Russians aren’t too popular in the Caucasus (especially with Putin as President; he cracked down hard on the Chechens, and the Azeris had to deal with a lot of the refugees since they share a land border and the Georgians were having a lot of problems with breakaway states in Abkhazia, Adjara, both Ossetias, Karachay-Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria and Ingushetia), but then nobody in the region really gets along with one another.

        But then again, Azerbaijan does have some pretty rich oil reserves in the Caspian Sea …

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th June 2012, 10:03

          And that’s without mentioning the movement to create the “Caucasus Emirate”, uniting all those breakaway states plus Chechnya, Adygea, Krasnodar Krai, Stavropol Krai, Ichkeria and Dagestan and turn it into a single nation ruled under Islamic law and receiving support from the Taliban and al’Qaeda (though they’ve quietened down since Putin’s Chechnya campaign took out most of their leaders).

        • necrodethmortem (@necrodethmortem) said on 19th June 2012, 10:32

          I very much doubt it will happen any time soon either, for the reasons you mentioned, but I wouldn’t be completely shocked if Bernie would consider it. After all, Azerbaijan is a rapidly growing economy and the Eurovision Song Contest has shown that they’re very keen on gaining international recognition.

          I’d also like to point out that Sochi and Baku are twice as far away from each other than Bahrain and Abu Dhabi and that the population of Baku alone is as high as those two combined.

          It would be a terrible idea, but you never know.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th June 2012, 11:26

            @necrodethmortem – I don’t think it would necessarily be a terrible idea. Bernie has been pushing out into Asia and the Americas of late, but strangely enough, he has almost completely ignored Russia and the former Soviet states, which are undergoing a motorsport renaissance of late. I could name more eastern European drivers in feeder series at the moment than Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern and American drivers combined. There’s the Russian Grand Prix slated for 2014 … and that’s about it. There was an attempt to get a race going in Bulgaria a few years ago, but it fell through when the government in Sofia only approved an old Soviet airfield for use, rather than approving the airfield and offering to subsidise the cost of the race, as the organisers had been hoping for.

            It does make sense to have a race in Azerbaijan if you want to take advantage of the local market. Currently, Germany and Hungary service most of eastern Europe and Scandinavia. A race in Sochi will also tap into that market and draw on the Russian population centres of Moscow, St. Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don and Volgograd. A race in Azerbaijan would offer an alternative to Azeris, Armenians and Georgians who do not want to cross the Russian border, the Central Asian republics like Kazakhstan (don’t laugh – the Kazakh government sponsors a few Formula 3 teams to promote the country and its capital, Astana), Iran (the government might not be popular, but that doesn’t mean the people can’t enjoy racing) and would also be open to the Russian cities of Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinberg, Kazan, Perm, Ufa, Samara, Volgograd and Rostov-on-Don (again) and perhaps even as far afield as Novosibirsk and Omsk. Together, these cities represent ten million people, and if you count Moscow and St. Petersburg in there, you get twenty-five million. As mad as it sounds, an Azerbaijani Grand Prix has the potential to establish a second race within reach of the lucrative Russian market, circumventing the ban on having two races in one country (ignoring the two races in Spain and the two in America for the moment).

            Of course, it’s now a question of whether or not it has the potential to work).

          • necrodethmortem (@necrodethmortem) said on 19th June 2012, 12:29

            @prisoner-monkeys I think Kazakhstan is a far better option for a second tap into the former-Soviet market. Sochi for Moscou, Volgograd, Rostov, Dnepropetrovsk, Donetsk, Kharkiv and the Caucasus; Astana for Almaty, Tashkent, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk, Perm; and the people from Samara-Tolyatti are in the middle.

            But with a limit of 20 races per year, I’d rather see just one race near Moscou, one in the Middle East and one in Southeast Asia. Should be sufficient and you can’t have it all.

            A good balance between traditional and upcoming markets would be something like this:
            Great Britain (Silverstone)
            Italy (Monza)
            Monaco
            Belgium (Spa)
            Germany
            North or Middle France (updated Dijon?, or go nuts and go back to Rouen or Reims)
            Spain (Aragon, right between Madrid and Barcelona)
            European Russia (Sochi or Moscou)
            Finland or Sweden (New track somewhere in a forest close to the capital, I volunteer :D)
            Brazil (Interlagos)
            Argentina (Potrero or Mar del Plata)
            Canada / North-East USA (Montreal)
            South-West USA or Mexico (Austin)
            Japan (Suzuka)
            China (Shanghai)
            India (Delhi)
            Singapore or Malaysia
            Arabia (Dubai)
            Australia (Melbourne, or go back to Adelaide)
            South Africa (Kyalami or new track near Joburg, Durban or Cape Town, I again volunteer)

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th June 2012, 12:40

            @necrodethmortem – Tilke’s website shows plans for the “Kazakhstan Motor City”, but they’ve been there for years and nothing seems to have come of it. But of all the untapped markets, Central Asia is perhaps the second least-important to Formula 1 after Central Africa.

            But I do agree about a return to Kyalami. The South Africans should just rebuild the original version, maybe scale it up a little bit to 5.26km (instead of 4.26km), or use parts of it. When Tavo Hellmund conceived the Circuit of the Americas, he drew on famous racing circuits to create the basic design. I’m surprised he didn’t look further than Silverstone, Istanbul and Hockenheim when there is some great stuff on circuits that are unlikely to ever be used again, like the Osterreichring. Or maybe cross Turn 3 at the old Buenos Aires circuit with Mexico’s Peraltada. Splice all of that into a Kyalami-Osterreichring mix, and there’s a brilliant circuit in there somewhere.

          • necrodethmortem (@necrodethmortem) said on 19th June 2012, 12:41

            BTW Tilke has two offices in Kazakhstan.

          • necrodethmortem (@necrodethmortem) said on 19th June 2012, 13:01

            @prisoner-monkeys Or better yet: East London! The calendar could use some variation, and this short, fast circuit should provide just that. Also, the scenic backdrop with the Indian Ocean is amazing and it’s amphitheater shape should be brilliant for crowd atmosphere. For overtaking, it’s better to run it anti-clockwise. Bernie, get it done!

    • Thecollaroyboys (@thecollaroyboys) said on 19th June 2012, 10:48

      Did you check out the high tech safety barriers? I’ve got a better fence around my garbage bins.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 19th June 2012, 15:18

      You are right, but I think Kyrgyzstan is possibly better.

  13. sozavele (@formula-1) said on 19th June 2012, 7:25

    I understand how the ticket holders feel, but like when I purchased my new phone, it says in the terms and conditions that if the company goes bust (I presume it did), they are in no position to refund the customer as they are not the official seller, in this case ticket seller, so I understand how they feel but I am not too sympathetic because they should have purchased them through the official websites.

    • Julian (@julian) said on 19th June 2012, 10:19

      Something similar to this happened in Australia with a company that sells video games and their customers who pre-ordered a certain game.
      The company went bust and obviously those who pre-ordered weren’t going to get their game.

      And the developers who make that game were nice enough to compensate those who pre-ordered though that company.
      Here’s a link that will explain better as the game company involved is rather confusingly called GAME.

      Hopefully F1 can do the same.. I don’t see it happening but for those affected I hope it does.

  14. Salcrich said on 19th June 2012, 8:21

    What a great job DC has – beats football punditry anyway!

  15. SempreGilles (@sempregilles) said on 19th June 2012, 8:25

    F1 is about speed. A 300 kilometer sprint race. Le Mans is about efficiency. And if that speed comes from green technology (small turbo engines, KERS systems and what not), I’m fine with that.

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