Thailand planning to hold F1 night race in 2014

2014 F1 season

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Bangkok, 2010Thailand is poised to become the next country to join the F1 calendar in 2014.

The governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand Kanokphand Chulakasem told the Bangkok Post a deal had been agreed in principle with Bernie Ecclestone.

“It will be a city race like that in Singapore and Monaco. It will be a night race like the Singapore Grand Prix,” said Kanokphand.

Mark Webber performed an F1 demo run on Ratchadamnoen Avenue in Bangkok in December 2010 which was watched by over 100,000 people.

The only Thai driver to have competed in the world championship was Prince Birabongse Bhanudej Bhanubandh (usually referred to as B Bira) who drove for Maserati, among others, in the 1950s.

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

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84 comments on Thailand planning to hold F1 night race in 2014

  1. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 27th September 2012, 10:32

    To the Google Maps Pedometer!

  2. silencer (@silencer) said on 27th September 2012, 10:35

    wow.. 3 races in South East Asia.

    Put it back to back in one month if possible

  3. Joanna Bessey (@bernie-ecclescake) said on 27th September 2012, 10:54

    What’s next? Indonesia GP? Laos GP? Timor Leste GP perhaps?

    • Lothario said on 27th September 2012, 11:09

      The Sentul circuit which played host to a GP2 Asia Series round in ’08 could host the Indonesian GP?

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 27th September 2012, 12:00

        Sentul was originally intended to host an Indonesian Grand Prix, but the plan fell through halfway through construction and the circuit was shortened so that the incomplete circuit would at least be good for something. They’re lucky they got anything done at all, because it wasn’t long before Asia went into economic meltdown.

    • well at least, we have one driver here in indonesia (Rio Haryanto, GP3 multiple winner, 1 GP2 pole and FL), and he’s at the moment one of the fastest young asian driver. so maybe when he finally get an F1 seat and with our current healthy economy growth, its not impossible to see another South East Asian GP

  4. Tommo N7 (@tommothfc) said on 27th September 2012, 10:56

    Well that’s something I didn’t want to hear. Another street race that will probably be boring. At this rate there will be a vast shortage of traditional race circuits on the calendar.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 27th September 2012, 12:13

      At this rate there will be a vast shortage of traditional race circuits on the calendar.

      There’s only a handful of “traditional race circuits” in the world. So long as the calendar keeps expanding, new circuits will quickly start to out-number the old circuits, which means you will always be able to complain about it, even if none of those old circuits are actually removed from the calendar.

      Just look at the “traditional” circuits that have been removed from the calendar, particularly the European ones: Imola, Magny-Cours, Estoril, the Red Bull Ring (formerly the A1-Ring), Zandvoort and Zolder. In all honesty, if there were six circuits that I had to permanently remove from the calendar, it would be these six. Perhaps the only circuit that Formula 1 is weaker for not returning to is Watkins Glen, and the sport outgrew the circuit decades ago.

      • Whats wrong with the A1 Ring?? Its an excellent cricuit. Id gladly see races being held at Imola or Magny Cours than at featureless venues such as Abu Dhabi or Korea where no-one turns up. Or Bahrain,where the circuit is sponsored by the bloodthirsty ruling family.

        • Yeah, @prisoner-monkeys, in what ways exactly is say Abu Dhabi or Bahrain better than a high-speed blast through the mountains or the up and down of Imola? I never really understood the criticism of Magny-Cours either – I for one loved the quick chicanes (or “chickens”).

          The other three I wouldn’t know much about to be fair, but I can’t imagine them being worse than an airfield with 90-degree turns.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 27th September 2012, 23:31

            in what ways exactly is say Abu Dhabi or Bahrain better

            A more-global presence, for one. The Middle East is a region of the world that the sport can’t ignore.

            than a high-speed blast through the mountains or the up and down of Imola?

            Imola is little more than chicanes these days. I’d hardly call it “a high-speed blast up and down the mountain”. It might have been, once, but it’s since been neutered.

            I never really understood the criticism of Magny-Cours either

            Because it’s pretty boring.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 27th September 2012, 23:32

          Whats wrong with the A1 Ring?? Its an excellent cricuit.

          It’s too small for Formula 1. In its final year, the cars were going so fast that they were getting very close to lapping in under a minute, and the FIA decided that enough was enough. With the current levels of downforce, almost everyone except HRT would probably be able to do a lap in under a minute.

      • Very few of those circuits you have listed could reasonably make any claim to tradition except possibly for Zandvoort. Only Imola and Zandvoort hosted more than 20 races, and Zandvoort is the only one of those three to have appeared on the calendar before 1980. And Imola, in particular, was never a circuit F1 went to due to any great love of Imola, but (as is frequently commented on by season reviews and journalistic articles from the 1980s and 1990s) because it was felt that Italy merited two races a year and it happened to be Italy’s second circuit.

        “Traditional” is not a euphemism for “European”.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 27th September 2012, 14:01

          You think I didn’t take that into consideration? I’m struggling to name circuits outside Europe with a twenty-year-plus history that people would mourn the loss of as a “traditional” venue.

          • Well, you started to take it into consideration; your first paragraph seemed to be leading in to arguing (correctly) that there aren’t really any traditional circuits (except, perhaps, Zandvoort) that have been lost to F1 – but then you decided to list a bunch of European circuits you clearly knew weren’t traditional in an attempt to make a point about the quality of European circuits removed from the calendar instead.

            As for non-European circuits, well, Suzuka’s now seen 23 races, but I’m not going to claim a track added to the calendar in 1987 is traditional. Interlagos counts if Spa does (that is, if substantial modification and shortening of the track to accomodate safety concerns does not prevent a circuit from being traditional).

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 27th September 2012, 23:26

            then you decided to list a bunch of European circuits you clearly knew weren’t traditional in an attempt to make a point about the quality of European circuits removed from the calendar instead

            Name one “traditional” European circuit that has been removed from the calendar. Because that’s what we’re talking about: not “traditional” circuits, but “traditional” circuits that are not on the calendar anymore.

            As for non-European circuits, well, Suzuka’s now seen 23 races, but I’m not going to claim a track added to the calendar in 1987 is traditional. Interlagos counts if Spa does (that is, if substantial modification and shortening of the track to accomodate safety concerns does not prevent a circuit from being traditional).

            Those might be “traditional” circuits, but none of them have been removed from the calendar.

  5. franco del as no sabe nada de f1 said on 27th September 2012, 10:57

    i will spend a few weeks in pattaya, next month, i wish the gp in bangkok was now.

  6. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 27th September 2012, 10:58

    As long as the circuit isn’t full of mickey mouse sections I’m fine. Night races do have a nice spectacle though.

  7. wificats (@wificats) said on 27th September 2012, 11:15

    Just what F1 needs, another slow, insipid street circuit in a country with nothing to offer F1 but a large pot of cash. Bernie seems to be taking every step possible to decimate F1′s TV viewership with these awful new clone events, and the new pay-TV deals.

    Thailand doesn’t even need F1, it’s not like it’s not a destination anyway. Thailand should hold onto their money and use it for some real development, and Bernie should try and bring F1 to somewhere that offers something more unique to ‘the show’ and has an audience to appreciate it.

  8. I have to say that the Thai racer surely has the best name ever for F1, i know that you have mentioned that he was B Bira, but how great would it have been if he had kept his full name, and what would have been his 3 letters for his name if he had…!

  9. So long as the obsenely rich in F1 become slightly richer I’m happy.

  10. Having one night race is fine. Multiple night races just won’t be a novelty anymore, and as only the track is illuminated, will likely look far too similar to Singapore. I’ll hold of full judgement until I see a track map though. New Jersey surprised me with how good the layout is, so maybe this will do the same.

  11. KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 27th September 2012, 12:09

    Just another one to add to the list.. I can’t see how they can cope awarding 2 races to the USA when there’s a long list of countries wanting to hold a race (Russia, France, Thailand, Argentina, South Africa, Mexico, the list goes on)

    The best way I can see the calendar having to cope with all the incoming races is by having a massive rotation system, grouping tracks into continents and then allowing each continent a certain number of races, weighted by driver’s preferences, track USPs, calendar constraints and popularity with the fans.

    That’s the closest I could come up with to a ‘perfect system’, but to actually put it into practice would be a logistical nightmare, and expensive to pay off contracts for tracks like Silverstone that are on the calendar till 202X (Can’t remember the precise date)

  12. Hurray! Another badly thought out street race in another country where no-one cares at night time in front of nobody and after 3 years everyone eill get bored and the government won’t want to pay and it’ll be replaced by yet another one of these. Repeat ad infinium.

  13. Juan Pablo Heidfeld (@juan-pablo-heidfeld-1) said on 27th September 2012, 12:24

    I really hope this doesn’t happen. There are already too many races in the east to begin with, in comparison to drivers, support and teams. Also if they have a night race, then Singapore just becomes a- another race, with nothing special at all.

    • Tayyib (@m0nzaman) said on 27th September 2012, 12:46

      Agree with you we have an influx of asian grand prixs and the poorer ones like china and korea have good prospects of staying whereas suzuka seems under pressure to come up with the money when its a great track and having another night race detracts the appeal of singapore and thailand.

      My ideal calendar would be:

      Australia Melbourne
      Malaysia Sepang (Back to Back)

      China/Korea

      Spain Barcelona
      Monaco (Back to Back)

      Canada Montreal
      New York (Back to Back)

      Russia

      France Paul Ricard

      Silverstone

      Hockenheim
      Hungary (Back to Back)

      Summer break

      Spa Francochamps
      Monza (Back to Back)

      Singapore

      Suzuka

      India

      Mexico
      Austin Texas (Back to Back)

      Brazil Interlagos

      Obviously not all the races here are confirmed, but in my opinion I took the races out abu dhabi and bahrain because the races have not been good enough but also is there a love for f1 or motorsport in general, I picked places like Texas and Mexico because the former as a nation has a large following of motorsport fans and Mexico has a great lineage and history and with f1′s breakout star Sergio Perez it could be a big success. I left the gap between texas and brazil just to allow for all of us to ponder and think and discuss what may happen if the championship goes down to the wire.
      Those are my reasons please respond and post your own calendars.

  14. I’m optimistic about this because i’ve still yet to see a race worse than Monaco.

  15. Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 27th September 2012, 12:45

    In the words of John McKenroe, “You cannot . . . .”

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