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. yyyeeeaaahhh said on 27th September 2012, 13:34

    I don’t know about a night race : according to Jean-Louis Moncet (french F1 commenter for the last 20 years — for what it’s worth), one part of the renewed deal between Singapore and Ecclestone is that Singapore would “remain the only 100%-night race in the calendar”.
    Though after reading his post, I can’t say if that means until 2017 (as the new contract duration) or just the next calendar, in which case Thailand could have that schedule for 2014…

  2. The 2013 F1 calendar has, at the moment, four races in the Americas, seven in Europe, two in the Middle East and seven in Asia or on the Pacific Rim. That’s actually a pretty decent balance – I’d say that South and North America should have two races each (which could be achieved by replacing New Jersey with Argentina), and ideally we’d eventually like at least one African race, but overall it’s worth keeping.

    The obvious solution to the demands of geographical balance and all the places that want a race is a rotation system; the problem with such a system is that it’s inherently unstable, assuming that F1 is going to want to go to Monaco every year – once you create that exception, everyone else is going to try and get an annual race too.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 27th September 2012, 14:06

      Argentina is in no state to hold a race. Just ask @fer-no65 for all the gory details.

      At a guess, I’d say Chile and Venezuela are the only two South American nations that could feasibly hold a race. But Chile’s population is probably too small to sustain a race for long, and Venezuela has a reputation as a pretty rough place.

      • Yes, Argentina’s economy is sufficiently bad that actually talking about how bad it is will get you arrested in Buenos Aires these days. However, the fact that the Argentine economy is in no state to be supporting frivolous expenditures such as an F1 race (mind, you could say the same thing about the Spanish – or, as perhaps it might be by the next time the calendar rolls around – the Catalan) doesn’t mean that it can’t find the money. In fact, with the Kirchner government casting around for as many distractions from the state of the economy as it can find (see an entirely manufactured Falklands dispute, for example), I’m not sure the wreck of an economy even makes it less likely.

        Bahrain was in no state to hold a race last year, either. Didn’t actually prevent it from happening. Ditto South Africa for many years.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 27th September 2012, 23:35

          Bahrain was in no state to hold a race last year, either. Didn’t actually prevent it from happening.

          You seem to be missing my point. I don’t know about the political situation in Argentina, which is why I didn’t say anything about it. But from an economic point of view, the country is in no condition to host a race. On the other hand, while Bahrain was politically unstable, they were able to hold a race from an economic standpoint, mostly because the people controlling the economy are the people who paid for the race.

  3. Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 27th September 2012, 13:39

    There are already two slow, complex street circuits on the calendar in Monaco and Singapore. I usually enjoy these races as they are something different and both bring unique looking backdrops and a sense of occasion. I’m ignoring Valencia and Melbourne as they don’t have the same characteristics to me.

    If the New Jersey race, and now this go ahead I fear it’ll devalue the above tracks and make the street circuit races less of a spectacle. I think there’s only so many races a year that people will watch cars designed for purpose built tracks and high speeds snake around narrow, difficult to overtake on street circuits.

  4. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 27th September 2012, 13:56

    How many races can Bernie allow for 2014? I mean, if this one is included then their will be 3 new tracks in 2 years (2013/14), in New Jersey, Russia, and now Thailand.

    He’s going to have to drop some tracks to fit them in presumably. Otherwise i dont know how the engines (and teams) will hold up on a possible 22 race season, given that this season the teams are saying that 20 races is the limit.

    Will definitely be interesting to see how it pans out.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 27th September 2012, 14:09

      The current Concorde Agreement allows for a maximum of 17 races, which can be increased to 20 with the unanimous agreement of the teams. I have heard that Bernie wants the new Concorde to have a maximum if 20 races with a provision for 24, again pending unanimous agreement from the teams.

  5. ScuderiaVincero (@scuderiavincero) said on 27th September 2012, 17:45

    The home of the original Red Bull! And of course, Prince Bira, who competed in Grand Prix racing back in the 50s. Thailand definitely has some history to offer Fomula 1 then, but I would certainly prefer building another road course rather than another street circuit. Better prospects of a good course with plenty of overtaking! The very thought of another stret circuit (though they may still be in the minority) is getting cheesy already.

  6. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 27th September 2012, 18:51

    Damn you Ecclestone, damn you!!!

  7. i know im going to get alot of bad replies, but here goes
    F1 already has alot of Street Circuits and does not need anymore, F1 fans dont treat Monaco with enough respect, and what about Australia, Canada, Singapore and if it goes ahead then New Jersey next year. In 2014, 1 race in 4 will become street racing which i dont find good at all, im all up for F1 in Thailand and think it would be good, but instead of Street Circuits, why not just make a proper race track with proper racing,
    ps hopefully Herman Tilke wont design this circuit aswel

  8. soundscape (@soundscape) said on 27th September 2012, 23:09

    A lot of people in the comments above are assuming this will be a street circuit. Excuse my ignorance, by why is that the assumption? The only comparison being made to Singapore is the night race aspect. Why can’t a purpose-built track be made?

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 27th September 2012, 23:41

      Because the organisers said so themselves:

      “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.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th September 2012, 3:06

        Also, the Thai organisers only have an “agreement in principle” for a race. There’s still a long way to go before any sort of contract can be produced and a spot guaranteed, by wich point they will not have long to design and build a circuit. Most purpose-built circuits take at least two years to build, and that puts a lot of pressure on construction to get the job done. If anything goes wrong, they’d be pushing very hard just to keep up with the deadline.

        Assuming that the 2014 Thai Grand Prix was to be paired with the 2014 Singapore Grand Prix, then that means they pretty much have two years to the day right now, and they’re in no position to think about strting construction. If the 2014 Thai Grand Prix was to be paired with the 2014 Malaysian Grand Prix, they would have just 18 months to get ready.

        To put it simply, there isn’t enough time to make a purpose-built circuit.

    • ScuderiaVincero (@scuderiavincero) said on 28th September 2012, 0:47


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

      I doubt there’s space for a proper race track in the middle of the city. Which makes it all the more sad they’re not considering a Long Beace style race at Phuket.

  9. Kimi4WDC said on 27th September 2012, 23:41

    Not another street race please.

  10. Ginola14 (@ginola14) said on 28th September 2012, 5:05

    A night race in Hong Kong would be a more credible and fantastic idea actually.

    It was mooted once by their city officials after they saw Singapore’s success but the idea never got off the ground.

  11. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 29th September 2012, 17:20

    Fair enough! It will be interesting to see a layout at some point, even if it doesn’t go ahead. I think it will have its work cut out to be as good as Singapore.

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