Thailand GP track route confirmed for 2015 race

2015 F1 season

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Bangkok, 2010The proposed route for the track which will host Thailand’s round of the 2015 F1 season has been approved by the government.

Thailand Sports Authority governor Kanokphand Chulakase approved the layout, which is made up of streets around the Grand Palace, on Thursday according to the Bangkok Post.

The start and finish area will overlook the Chao Phraya River. “We may be able to build the main stands in the river,” said Chulakase, “It would also be convenient for transportation of equipment.” Seating for up to 150,000 spectators is planned around the course.

From the waterfront the cars will follow a clockwise route which takes in Ratchadamnoen Avenue which Mark Webber drove along in a demonstration run for Red Bull in 2010.

A final track layout will require formal approval from the FIA before the race takes place in two years’ time. Race organisers intend Thailand’s first grand prix to take place at night.

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160 comments on Thailand GP track route confirmed for 2015 race

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  1. Infernikus (@infernikus) said on 26th April 2013, 10:13

    Ah lovely, another street track that’s EXACTLY what the Calendar needed. God forbid an actual circuit was approved.

  2. venom02 (@venom02) said on 26th April 2013, 10:14

    useless useless track

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 26th April 2013, 10:16

      @venom02 I’d wait until we see the finished thing before making any judgements.

      Though whether F1 needs another sightseeing tour bus street track is up for debate…

      • venom02 (@venom02) said on 26th April 2013, 10:20

        Ok, maybe i was too rude. but that layout is really boring: long straights and slow corners. even Valencia was better than this.
        Monaco or Macau are interesting layouts, not this

      • Aditya F. Yahya (@adityafakhri) said on 26th April 2013, 10:34

        If I’m not mistaken, it will be only for a year, won’t it?
        Looks like common A1GP street circuit. whether it gonna be better than Singapore and Valencia, I don’t really care. The circus just have to do one-off, take the money, and never come back.

      • Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 26th April 2013, 10:49

        Not only the track looks boring, but we don’t need another race in Asia. I wonder, which race it will replace. Unless it’s Korea, otherwise there will be only few races left in Europe.

        People are complaining about tyres, about DRS, but if we are going to fill F1 calendar with new tracks in Asia, we will see artificial gimmics many more years to come. I’d rather prefer F1 coming back to such tracks as Imola, Magny-Cours, which are more fun watching even if there’s not much action on track during the race.

      • Mark (@marlarkey) said on 26th April 2013, 19:03

        Have any of you viewed this route on street view ?

        I can’t see that they have a hope in hell of this becoming an F1 circuit.

        Its not an empty port (Valencia) or newly built area (Singapore) or long-established and developed with the F1 in mind (Monaco). It is a downtown road layout with masses of narrow streets, buildings close up to the kerb, lots of street furniture, electricity pylons, telephone poles and wires, very narrow sections with central reservations with trees and grass.

        The only way they could convert this for use would be to demolish virtually everything alongside or above the road and encase the whole thing in a tunnel of armco.

        Seriously, use google street view and have your own look at the layout.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 27th April 2013, 11:29

          I’d just like to add, there is nothing on this circuit that is any narrower than certain sections of Singapore or New Jersey, and is as narrow as all of Monaco. Where there are central reservations, there is adequate space for racing cars on one side. I honestly don’t know what you’re looking at.

          • Mark (@marlarkey) said on 27th April 2013, 14:56

            I’m particularly looking at all the stuff that is ABOVE the proposed track. Overhanging trees, electricity and telephone cables, traffic signs and lights.

            I’m not saying it couldn’t be done but all of that would have to be removed.

            This isn’t a newly developed area (Singapore) or a a park (New Jersey) or a port (Valencia). The nearest would be Monaco but racing has been going so long Monaco that the area of the track has been developed around the racing rather than the track being imposed on a downtown area.

    • Scottie (@scottie) said on 26th April 2013, 12:24

      I’m amazed at everyone rubbishing the layout within 10mins of it’s announcement.

      Firstly, it’s not yet FIA approved, but secondly, if there’s a track that’s going to provide close racing, it’s a track with lots of straights and not many corners… Cars will be able to follow each other closer, and should allow us to reap the benefits.

      Sure, some may make an example of Phoenix or Valencia, but the current generation of cars provided a great spectacle last year, and Phoenix, while having presumably similar characteristics to this circuit, was another generation of cars altogether.

      I’ll be interested to see if the FIA approves the circuit, and you can be sure that if the race goes ahead, I’ll be fascinated!

  3. Simon Hull said on 26th April 2013, 10:14

    What a dull and bland layout. At least Sochi has lots of corners. FIA would be fools to let this track host the race. Singapore is special but this is a pathetic ripoff!

    • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 26th April 2013, 15:33

      Why are so many hating on this track for not having a lot of corners?

      People hate Abu Dhabi and Singapore for having a ridiculous overload of corners, and now they hate on this circuit for keeping it simple? Jeez, some people need to make up their minds.

      Easily the most basic track since A1 Ring. I quite like it.

  4. a4p (@a4p) said on 26th April 2013, 10:15

    How will they call it? LONG BEA(T)CH?

  5. Todfod (@todfod) said on 26th April 2013, 10:23

    What a rubbish race this is going to be. The circuit looks like something I would have created when I opened a geometry set for the 1st time.

    Bernie really doesn’t care about the fans of the sport, as long as his wallet is thick everything’s fine.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 26th April 2013, 10:47

      @todfod – How can you reasonably judge the merits of a circuit based on a two-dimensional plan of the layout, considering that the plan is not the final layout and is instead an educated guess by Keith based on the description given by organisers? I’m particularly interested to know why you seem to think it will be a “rubbish race” bearing in mind the above.

      I challenge you to create an alternative layout for the circuit based around the Wat Phra Kaew to show us what you think would be a good layout. I don’t know if you’ve done it before; if you haven’t, I recommend that you use the GMaps Pedometer to draw it up.

    • I’m probably alone on this, but actually I think the track incorporates some interesting elements, such as the roundabout (which from the size of it should be a pretty fast corner as long as it isn’t tempered with), and the long sweeping corner in the middle of the lap looks pretty good also.

  6. ajokay (@ajokay) said on 26th April 2013, 10:25

    Eh.

  7. andae23 (@andae23) said on 26th April 2013, 10:28

    @keithcollantine You based this route solely on the street names that were given in that article, right?

    If that’s so, then this definitely isn’t the definitive lay-out: like the Singapore track, they will probably change or add corners. But actually the basic lay-out doesn’t look that bad imo.

  8. The Dutch Bear (@the-dutch-bear) said on 26th April 2013, 10:32

    Well, this track could have used a few more corners. Although it must be said that the other streets might be too narrow for a F1 race. Having been in Bangkok four months ago, to be exact on December the 28th and January 6-8th, it looks this track is just about getting as much tourist attractions on the side of the track as possible. The hotel I stayed is actually located along the northern run next to the Chao Phraya River. A personal tip to anyone who is interested in going, if you feel like an afterparty you may try Khao San Road within the northern loop of the track. There are some great bars and clubs there.

  9. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 26th April 2013, 10:39

    I quite like it. I think that one of the problems with circuits like Korea and Singapore is that they try too hard to provide drivers with a challenge through complexity. And while they do have corners that present a genuine challenge – like the final sector of the Korean International Circuit – they have too much riding on this, and the end result is that there is no real opportunity to pass unless a driver makes a mistake, which they rarely do. But here, I count thirteen corners; half as many as seems to be the normal for a new circuit these days. I find that refreshing, and the six-kilometre length means that there should be some nice long and fast sections.

  10. ajokay (@ajokay) said on 26th April 2013, 10:40

    Having fewer corners than normal doesn’t mean it’ll be a bad track. Abu Dhabi has far more corners than it needs squeezed into it’s 5.5555555555km length, and I’m sure that 98% of us agree that it’s awful, especially when it was built with infinite money on a completely blank canvas. Valencia isn’t much better either.

    Look at the A1 (Red Bull) Ring. It essentially has 7 corners, and it produced some great racing in the late ’90s/early ’00s. I always found it one of the more fun race tracks to race in games. Likewise Monza. Counting a chicane as a single entity, it has 7 corners too, and it’s considered a classic.

    So if this is a fairly accurate depiction of the circuit’s route, I applaud it for being simplistic. It looks remarkably fast for a street circuit. It’s just that once again another new circuit has been added in a country with next to no racing history, no current drivers, no race winners, wrapped around the tourist attractions and all under floodlights to add to the gimmick. It’ll be gone in a few years, I should think.

    • andae23 (@andae23) said on 26th April 2013, 11:02

      … no race winners …

      In all fairness, the Thai Prince B. Bira was actually quite succesful between 1930-1955. I mean, he was no Nuvolari, Varzi or Fangio, but still.

    • Vincente said on 26th April 2013, 12:03

      I believe that Red bull is 51% owned by some Thai billionaire so…

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 26th April 2013, 14:18

      It’ll be gone in a few years, I should think.

      I guess that with Red Bull (the other half / original of it) is behind getting a race on, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this being long lived actually @ajokay.

      I agree with you that for a street circuit its remarkably devoid of endless 90° turns, instead even have in nicely folwing part and some of it could make for a reasonably fast track.

  11. matt90 (@matt90) said on 26th April 2013, 10:48

    It doesn’t look amazing, but it is refreshingly simple. Only 13 corners, of which 3 make up a chicane. I imagine it has a short lap. So weirdly, despite a layout which on paper only has 1 interesting corner, I’m fairly interested in this one. I was fearing some twisting mess like the labyrinth which is Singapore (although to be fair, New Jersey is more recent and is actually a very interesting design). It reminds me of Adelaide a little, and I get the impression that people loved that circuit.

    • Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 26th April 2013, 11:19

      Apparently, it’s around 6km, so not short.
      Personally, I’m allergic to tight radius corners of anywhere near 90 degrees with no runoff. They make me want to shout at the rack designer.

    • Andrew81 (@andrew81) said on 26th April 2013, 11:35

      I agree, I like the simplicity of it. Pretty much every new track in the last decade has had a mixture of fast corners, slow corners and long straights and it’s getting boring. I like that this circuit has gone for fewer corners and a simple design (if this is indeed the design), it will give it some character.

    • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 26th April 2013, 12:42

      It doesn’t look amazing, but it is refreshingly simple.

      @matt90 my thoughts exactly!

  12. LifeW12 (@lifew12) said on 26th April 2013, 10:54

    We don’t need another Asian venue, there’s too many of them anyway, unless its replacing Korea, which is what I think it is. As for the layout, constant radius corners linked by straights, never the most challenging circuit known to man.

    And not to mention the country, I would never want to travel there. A really dangerous place to go, but its never reported like that.

    And based on previous events in the city, the crowd at the ROC was an absolute disgrace, we don’t need these venues in countries with nothing more than a bit of dough, rather than a genuine interest in motor racing.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 26th April 2013, 11:03

      the crowd at the ROC was an absolute disgrace

      The Race of Champions was barely promoted.

    • Todd (@foxxx) said on 26th April 2013, 11:59

      ahhh i’m australian and i’ve lived in thailand for the last 7 years, it’s not any more dangerous than most places. I’d go to Bangkok over Bahrain or China anyday.

      Also, I was at the ROC, first day was pitiful, but not much was on so to be expected, next two days were much busier though, decent turn out considering the environment. Racing here is as about as popular as it is in Malaysia. If you’ve been to Sepang (i go every year), you will notice it’s not busy at all.

  13. Jonny C (@loomx92) said on 26th April 2013, 11:04

    Now I know this’d be pretty dangerous… But looking at the layout and the chicane’s a roundabout. Wouldn’t it be fun if they used the full roundabout and drivers had a choice of going left or right around it. It’d look so cool with two cars really close and you just see them split each side of it and return side by side on the exit :P

    Other than that it looks pretty simple, but I imagine there’d be some pretty good wheel to wheel racing as the difference between the driver’d be less than normal as there’s little challenge for the most skillful drivers to overwhelm the weaker ones like at say Suzuka.

  14. William (@william) said on 26th April 2013, 11:05

    We have got Mexico, Russia and Turkey in 2014 and now Thailand in 2015. There is far way too many races coming but 1 or 2 need to go from the calendar. As much as I will enjoy on having more races on the calendar. I expect Korea to go

    • Todd (@braketurnaccelerate) said on 26th April 2013, 11:22

      Don’t forget New Jersey, maybe…

    • I’m pretty sure Bernie has said he may increase the calendar size to 22 races, which basically gives room for three new ones: Thailand, New Jersey and Russia.

      You’ve mentioned Mexico and Turkey though: I’ve heard proposals (and no more) for the former and nothing about the latter, so do you have any links about that @william? If true though, I expect Korea to get the boot – it’s made a net loss, has little interest in it and with the current tensions in Korea I think F1 will be gone fairly swiftly if they don’t cough up the cash (which I don’t see happening).

  15. wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 26th April 2013, 11:23

    My prediction for 2015 season:
    Round 1. Malaysia
    Round 2. China
    Round 3. Thailand
    Round 4. Bahrain
    Round 5. Qatar
    Round 6. Monaco
    Round 7. Canada
    Round 8. Jersey
    Round 9. Britain
    Round 10. Hungary
    Round 11. Italy
    Round 12. Singapore
    Round 13. Korea
    Round 14. Japan
    Round 15. Russia
    Round 16. India
    Round 17. Abu Dhabi
    Round 18. Mexico
    Round 19. United States
    Round 20. Brazil

    • William (@william) said on 26th April 2013, 11:26

      @wsgro
      That is most ridiculous calendar where is Australia, Germany and Spain there will be angry fans drop Qatar

      • William (@william) said on 26th April 2013, 11:28

        and how I could I forget Turkey

      • Jonny C (@loomx92) said on 26th April 2013, 11:31

        And Spa!

        Also, why would you want to keep Korea. It’s a horrible horrible circuit in the middle of nowhere with no passion or excitement.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 26th April 2013, 12:07

          @william @loomx92

          This is @wsrgo ‘s prediction, not an ideal calendar. He’s basically predicting that Bernie will continue adding Asian venues in place of popular or European ones.

          • William (@william) said on 26th April 2013, 12:12

            @david-a@wsrgo ‘s prediction doesn’t have the great circuits Australia, Germany, Spain and Belgium

          • wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 26th April 2013, 14:10

            @david-a Thanks for clarifying on my behalf :)

            @william Australia is in trouble, even the mayor of Melbourne wants it out. The German and Spanish Grands Prix might run into trouble due to one of the hosts(Valencia for Spain and Nurburgring for Germany) of each being in a sticky situation. Belgium, well Bernie has been threatening that it has been causing noise pollution and everything.
            I’m not saying I want this to happen. It’s just that Bernie will search for the smallest excuse to minus European circuits from the calendar.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 26th April 2013, 14:23

        Not to mention that Malaysia is more likely to drop out than ever coughing up the money to be first race @william, @wsrgo.
        And having Bahrain and Quatar right after eachother is never going to happen, actually with Bahrain supposedly wanting to pay up for that first race status we might see Bahrain have the first race, so maybe if you just change around these 2 it would be pretty likely.

        • William (@william) said on 26th April 2013, 14:34

          Australia is not in trouble it will be still on the calendar in 2015 and it could be easily be moved to the Adelaide Street Circuit or even Bathurst. Qatar won’t happen. I doubt that Spa, Spain or even Germany will go because there are world champions who compete for those that represent those countries. I agree with you guys that some of European rounds won’t exist after 2015

          • ajokay (@ajokay) said on 26th April 2013, 14:36

            How would F1 race at Bathurst? It’s nowhere near F1 specification, no matter how good-a-track it is.

          • Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 26th April 2013, 15:39

            I doubt that Spa, Spain or even Germany will go because there are world champions who compete for those that represent those countries.

            Jérôme d’Ambrosio is coming back? And he will be a world champion by 2015? Hmmmmm.

          • wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 26th April 2013, 17:00

            @mike-dee Dunno about d’Ambrosio..but there is one Stoffel Vandoorne..

          • fangio85 (@fangio85) said on 26th April 2013, 23:55

            @Wsrgo, the Australian gp isn’t in any trouble, the Victorian government voiced concerns over expenses, and then the nsw government basically said if you don’t want it we’ve got a lot of great circuits we could use, and south Australia has hosted a grand prix very successfully before. I agree bathurst will never be on the f1 calendar though, and I never want to see it there, because if hockenheim and osterreich are anything to go by, bathurst would get the tilke treatment to make it ‘safe’. That would certainly mean the removal of all the tight, twisty section on top of the mountain, opening of the forests elbow and con rod straight, and miles of tarmac run off added, which would tear out the soul of the circuit. It would end up sterile and boring, like the a1 ring and current hockenheimring. Stay away from bathurst Bernie!! Personally I would like to see f1 at Sydney motorsports park, or Queensland raceway, which is all open corners, and very fast in v8 supercars, so it would be mental in f1. Even Phillips island would make an excellent f1 track. My point is Australia simply won’t disappear from the calendar. We have an enormous motorsport culture here and at least 10 suitable circuits, most better than 70% of the current calendar. Hell we even have multiple states wanting a gp, even tasmania has circuits that are more interesting than half the current calendar.

          • thatscienceguy said on 27th April 2013, 4:18

            F1 won’t return to Adelaide, I can promise you that. I doubt the circuit would pass safety regulations nowadays anyway.

            Queensland Raceway? Ha, not a chance. Have you seen the facilities there?

            Bathurst – nope. It could never be brought up to safety levels needed, and I’d say that the city council are probably quite happy with the V8 Supercars and the Bathurst 12 Hour (which is growing in stature every year) as their two marquee events. A regional council will never be able to afford F1.

            If NSW government wanted it they’d put it in Sydney.

            Phillip Island is at least an international level facility, but I’m pretty sure when it comes to F1 it would produce unbelievably dull racing.

            Fact is, if Melbourne can’t afford it, Adelaide and Bathurst can’t afford it, and if the QLD government were going to throw money at it they wouldn’t hold it at flippin Ipswich (which would require essentially an entire rebuild), they’d put it at Surfers or in Brisbane for better marketing. Same with the NSW government, they’d put it in Sydney.

    • I see the calendar being extended to 22 races actually, no Qatar and Korea being ditched. Spa’s contracted until 2015 so that’s unlikely to go, Germany won’t go and Spain is unlikely to as long as Alonso’s around but I could see Australia going sadly.

      @william I still don’t think you’ve quite understood, this isn’t an idealists calendar, rather what @wsrgo thinks Bernie will make the calendar look like! I’m pretty sure Bernie doesn’t care for ‘great circuits’!

      • wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 26th April 2013, 14:11

        @vettel1 Thanks for clarifying on my behalf!!

      • William (@william) said on 26th April 2013, 16:08

        Sorry fellas its only for Spain and Germany

      • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 28th April 2013, 3:33

        Aus, Mal, Chi, Bah, Spa, Mon, Can, NJ, Bri, Ger, Hun, Bel, Ita, Sin, Tha, (Jap), Ind, Abu, Rus, Usa/Mex, Bra. Bahrain want to be first race and will pay/add a test. Can only happen though if things there calm down a little. But Australia will be hard pressed to move from it’s date.. Unless Bahrain started the season earlier? Japan’s place is dependent on it continuing to pay for the race despite no manufacturers and drivers anymore – contract up for renewal soon and it won’t be cheap as many races want to come in. But they do have a passionate fan base so hopefully this helps them break even (Ka-Mui!). Russia could move to a better slot from 2015 onwards, maybe into Bahrain or Japan’s current place? Mexico will come on strong and put pressure on Austin – Bernie won’t ease up on them as his mate Tavo is not there now. Was it 60% of the crowd being Mexican :D? Argentina have no money and Turkey don’t want a race. This year was basically a bargain basement slot 20 offered to them – way less than $10m one off, and they turned that down. Things must have really soured since they got fined for having the ‘President of Turkish Cyprus’ on the podium (shame as it’s a great track). Considering new tracks are now starting at $61m per year? I’m surprised Turkey declined! But not that Korea can save money by settling a fee and canning races from it’s deal!

    • 5150 (@) said on 26th April 2013, 16:12

      You’re scaring me man! Hopefully your prediction will not come to pass. It’s entirely possible, though.

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