F1 to race in Thailand in 2015, says Ecclestone

2015 F1 season

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Bangkok, 2010A new round of the world championship will take place in Thailand from 2015, according to Bernie Ecclestone in the Wall Street Journal.

Thailand is expected to follow the lead of Singapore’s Grand Prix by holding a night race on a street circuit.

Ecclestone said the organisers are keen to hold their race at an earlier date. “They say 2014 and I say 2015,” said Ecclestone of the proposal. “It is serious and it is good.”

The 2014 calendar is already slated to include a new race in Russia in 2014 and a second Grand Prix in the USA.

A Red Bull demonstration run in Bangkok two years ago attracted a crowd of over 100,000.

The soft drink originated in Thailand in the seventies when Chaleo Yoovidhya’s company created an energy drink called Krathing Daeng. Before his death in March he was estimated to be one of the richest men in the world. The planned race is backed by his son Chalerm.

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63 comments on F1 to race in Thailand in 2015, says Ecclestone

  1. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 19th December 2012, 9:18

    Please tell me the circuit’s not going to be called the ‘Bangkokring’.

  2. Just F1 fan said on 19th December 2012, 9:26

    It will also Tilke track again :)

  3. Gill (@gill) said on 19th December 2012, 9:43

    so 3 races in the contiguous region , namely Singapore, malaysia and now Thailand. Wont they be better off having a race in South Africa where currently there is no race ?

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th December 2012, 11:12

      Wont they be better off having a race in South Africa where currently there is no race?

      The South Africans can’t afford it.

      • William (@william) said on 19th December 2012, 14:09

        They placed a bid on the 2014 Calendar possibly 2015 which was revealed by Eccelstone as well as Argentina, Hong Kong, Mexico, Poland, Greece depending on the teams how much they allow per season. What is going on with the Austrian GP, as it was a last minute replacement if the Turkish GP fell through, which it did.

      • Carlito's way said on 19th December 2012, 20:31

        Who can? No race promoter in the calendar makes a profit as far as I know, and most races nowadays are funded at least partially by public money

      • Bill (@billza71) said on 20th December 2012, 19:19

        Try us and see, we’ll knock any of the new circuits to shame, the is not only a huge following of fans in South Africa but also the surrounding countries. All you have to do is look at the queues waiting to get into Kyalami in the 90’s, I will stick my neck out and say the passion is 1000 times stronger now. – any events (SBK, MotoGP, Testing, Endurance racing, Rallying) have always been followed to the point where they have turned people away from the gates as inside has been filled too capacity. So get your lip off the ground and give South Africa a Grand Prix. We’ve hosted other world class events with success (Rugby, Cricket, Soccer World Cups) so what’s wrong with hosting F1. I tell you what it is Bernie doesn’t have the B@#$s to give us a go!

    • Adam Blocker (@blockwall2) said on 19th December 2012, 12:25

      What is really interesting is the sudden abundance of Asian races, but very few Asian drivers. Two last year (Karthikeyan & Kobayashi) and possibly none next year.

      • Anele (@) said on 19th December 2012, 17:38

        so true. Africa can afford it I’ve done my research. a race around Durban or cape tiwn would bring millions to formula one

  4. andae23 (@andae23) said on 19th December 2012, 9:53

    Fot lay-out ideas: we’ve already created some on the forum

  5. vuelve kowalsky said on 19th December 2012, 10:02

    not bad news at all. Sun, beer, girls and now f1. What else a man could ask for? A sports car parked in the garage? okey

    • Joanna Bessey (@bernie-ecclescake) said on 19th December 2012, 10:36

      Don’t forget tranny as well!

    • Jayfreese (@) said on 19th December 2012, 13:24

      sun, beer and girls, you talk like a ******* tourist!

      Thailand is also massive poverty, unsufficient care units, unecological treatments of trashes, et caetera… I think Thai would rather have hospitals and schools rather than an $30-million F1 race-track used once a year.

      • So does India … You have to get real man.
        Even if the race does not take place, it does not mean the money is going to go to hospitals or schools … It does not work that way.

        • Jayfreese (@) said on 19th December 2012, 14:24

          So @litepad you find that normal? It’s your point of view pal.
          I respect your western-minded opinion and i’m ok that the money won’t go to public facilities anyway. But the track will really be runned once a year, and the contract won’t be lond if so.

          It is sad, like the rumour about a race in Greece.

    • If they can make a commercial success of it the race may very well boost the local economy or gain media attention for the region’s poverty problems.

  6. Roald (@roald) said on 19th December 2012, 10:31

    Let’s see which race’ll get scrapped to be replaced by Thailand. Spa, Monza or Silverstone, place your bets.

  7. Beto (@chebeto0) said on 19th December 2012, 10:39

    I’ve had it with Ecclestone trying to make more and more street races. Races are better driven on racing circuits. You know, those cicuits specifically made for racing and challenging racing cars, not to get to work and afterward get a 5€ coffee in Starbucks.
    I know there have been some very exciting races on street cicuits, but most of the time they aren’t. I’m sure Thailand must have some decent race tracks since their economy has been exploding in the last years. I hope someone can consider that intead of the streets.

  8. Great, another Asian track.. But there aren’t any Asian drivers for the locals to get behind.

  9. Bob (@bobthevulcan) said on 19th December 2012, 12:30

    As I’ve commented on this before, I’m not sure a Thai GP would be such a good idea. Having three races in the Southeast Asian region is simply over-saturating the market. What target audience do they have in mind, seeing as how the big businesses and VIPs already have Marina Bay, while the general audience of race fans already have Sepang?

    With those two races in close proximity, I doubt that expatriates and tourists alone would be able to sustain attendance. What of the locals? You could interpret the 100,000 turnout at the RBR Show Run as an indicator of how the local crowd is enthusiastic, or at least curious, about motorsport, but that show run was a free event. How many of them can afford, or are willing, to fork out what must be a hefty sum for race tickets?

    You could cite this year’s Race of Champions as a sign that the audience exists, but bear in mind, it was a one-off event. A successful Grand Prix has to sustain audience attention over the duration of the contract. In recent years, we’ve seen a few grands prix run into trouble, after local interest fizzled out following the debut running – Korea, India and China spring to mind.

    It seems to me that this is but an exercise in international prestige through the hosting of a grand prix. That’s what races have become – commodities traded among host nations, to show off as a status symbol. This is hardly an ideal situation.

  10. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 19th December 2012, 13:19

    So assuming that none of the current Asian races drop off the addition of Thailand would make it 6 races in Asia. That’s a pretty healthy chunk of the calendar. Throw in two Middle Eastern races (because Bahrain is on the calendar “forever” according to Bernie), the race in India and Australia it means there are 10 “fly away races and that is before you factor in Brazil, Canada and the US! The teams do rack up a helluva lot of frequent flier miles…

  11. This is a bad idea …. Another street circuit ?? …. it’ll be another ‘borefest’ .

  12. BaKano (@bakano) said on 19th December 2012, 15:05

    @keithcollantine, just one minor error: Chaleo Yoovidhya’s son is named Chalerm (you have it with the same name as the deceased Chaleo)

  13. davros said on 19th December 2012, 15:10

    It’s about time, considering Thailand’s rich history in the sport.

  14. Deepak (@ideepak) said on 19th December 2012, 15:57

    Why has a race never been planned in Hong Kong ? I mean, it’s so ideal and picturesque.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 20th December 2012, 9:03

      @ideepak – The Chinese government won’t support it. Ever since the transfer of sovreignty from the UK to China in 1997, Beijing has used economic policy to encourage enterprises to either establish themselves or relocate in Shanghai. Hong Kong has steadily faded into economic obscurity, because the Chinese want the bastion of their economic might to be a Chinese city and not one that they inherited from the West.

      • Deepak (@ideepak) said on 20th December 2012, 18:18

        Hmm…but why is Hong Kong a prominent financial center ? I believe it is home to many billionaires and large companies. HSBC has a massive footprint there for example. However, I agree this is no true gauge of its true economic appearance.

        But I still feel they have all that takes for a superb venue, the hills facing the massive skyskrapers, the skyscrapers facing a massive harbor – it’s like Singapore 2.0 but only better and more spacious.

        Plus I guess the venue would earn more as the target audience is larger in HK.

        • @Deepak … “it’s like Singapore 2.0 but only better and more spacious. Plus I guess the venue would earn more as the target audience is larger in HK.”

          C’mon, do you have any data to support your argument? The Singapore GP was fully sold out for the last 5 years, and it’s not cheap either… Comparing the most expensive ticket prices, it’s second only to Monaco. You think Hong Kong can do better ??
          Yes, I know HK has a beautiful night scene but the same can be said about most major cities isn’t it? The night race in downtown Singapore is a major headache every year for those living or working near the area. Road closures, massive traffic jams for weeks. Do Hong Kongers have the patience and the stomach for it ??

          • Deepak (@ideepak) said on 21st December 2012, 2:47


            No, I only meant that they’d earn more just due to Hong Kong’s sheer population size compared to that of Singapore, so HK is appears to be larger market.

            Whether Hong Kongers are able to cope with it is a wild guess. I still don’t see what’s in Singapore that Hong Kong doesn’t have. Anyway you look at it, Hong Kong has more.

            I believe one reason it hasn’t been on the map is due to the lack of space in HK — otherwise Bernie must have surely looked at HK. HK is very spacious (by size), but I think it is more dense.

        • @deepak

          You keep talking about population size… HK has 7 million people, Singapore 5 million. So 2 million more people is a big deal to you ?? India and China have over a billion people, how’s that working out ??

          I also don’t understand what you mean by ‘HK has more’, more of what ??
          I think you fail to understand the magnitude of hosting a night street race. It’s bloody expensive, all the lighting, temp barriers, over USD 120 million a year and all the roads have to be repaved to F1 standard.

          It’ll never happen in HK, it cost too much and there’s too much red tape involved. Greenie groups will be protesting in Kowloon…. How familiar are you with HK anyway ? Whats the F1 fan base like in HK ??

          • Deepak (@ideepak) said on 21st December 2012, 9:27


            Surely an additional populace of 2 million will provide a larger customer base for the venue.

            I’m not familiar with HK that much, visited it one time. I’m for the HK race purely due its beautiful sheen and eastern charm. But true to your username, you seem to know more about HK. So I will leave the topic here.

            However I have concerns about how legitimate your “roads have to be repaved to F1 standard” claim is — are you saying the Singapore GP roads and the Monaco GP were at some point in history coated with F1 specific asphalt, if not, that means from construction of the roads themselves, they were planned as future F1 tracks, which makes it even more hard to believe .

          • @Deepak

            Yes. The roads used for racing have to be repaved with F1 specific asphalt…

            F1 cars cannot race on normal roads, they’ll slide all over the place. You do know that right ?… Are you testing me ??

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