Mark Webber, Red Bull, Bangkok, 2010

Thailand GP track route confirmed for 2015 race

2015 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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. It looks like a blast, I can’t wait. Sure, there’s no Eau Rouge or Turn 8 or anything like that, but I’m hopeful the layout will produce good racing.

    It might also work as a venue. Bangkok is a popular tourist destination, so it should be easier to find affordable flights and accommodation, for instance compared to Korea, or even Spa or Silverstone for that matter.

    So how likely is the event to happen?

  2. I highly doubt this will happen. the whole area is gridlock every day of the week. like 4 hours to get 1km style of gridlock.

    just to go 5km to get to the race of champions took 1hr. the amount of people who will fight to get it stopped will be huge. these are the same people who fought to stop a monorail project because it’ll take up too much side walk space… they complain about traffic, but don’t want anything to change.

    1. Exactly.

      Attending the ROC was an absolute nightmare. Very very narrow back road and the traffic on the main road is just…dreadful.

      Not to mention that the road quality is just plain bad.

  3. Alright everyone, I’ve finally finished my photo tour of the track using Street View. I can’t imagine F1 cars going along some of the streets I looked at.

    if someone could post that on here that would be great :D

    1. Nice and thorough. The biggest problem I see is that the pit straight is on one of the narrowest sections, and the lack of run-off in some places. I don’t really see and issues with circuit width though.

    2. Thanks for this. I did the same thing and found some issues.

      About half this track would be great…. the long sweeping sections along the wide boulevard, the roundabout and the seciton by the palace.

      But the other half is a race along a downtown backstreet with all the associated problems of run-offs, buildings, narrowness… but in particular I think they would be problems with all the stuff that is hanging over the track – which would have to be removed – trees, electricity wires, cables, signs, traffic signals, etc.. and the very low bridge that it passes under.

      I picked out these few photos in addition to yours to illustrate some of the worst problems.

      This first one is really squashed – but look at all the wires above the track:

      Quite narrow once you add in appropriate safety barriers:

      Narrow with central reservation and trees overhanging – would need remodelling significantly:

  4. Let’s see… The streets and roads of Bangkok are capable of handling just over 2 million vehicles a day without too much of a problem, however there are over 7 million vehicles in the city. The closest you can get to this area using mass transit is the terminal station of the underground (MRT) and that drops you just about in China Town. One still has to get to the race site and back using surface roads. The area is a major tourist attraction and is easily on of the most congested ares in Bkk, so closing down roads to st up a circuit will be a nightmare for locals.
    The 3rd race of this season was April 12 – 14. Thai New Year (Songkran usually lasts for 5 days here) was officially on the 13th of April this year and many Thais go back to their villages to celebrate, this and the fact that most public schools are on break may ease congestion a bit, but it’s also the biggest party time of the year and that isn’t going to help.
    This is also typically the hottest time of the year in Thailand. It did in fact rain a bit this year which is a bit unusual, but when the rain stops and the skies clear, the sun will burn the top of your head off. We had temps @41C with a heat index of 44C.
    I can go on forever as to why there shouldn’t be a GP in Bkk. I plan to be out of the city when and if it happens.

    1. My comments regarding Bkk as the 3rd race of the season was based on William (@william)’s predictions. ;)

      1. @alex-bkk
        It was not even my prediction as it was a different person not me

    2. Working in Thailand, I agree with you on this. How on earth are spectators and crew going to get there and back? If you block such a central part of a city that is already congested for 20 hours a day, how is ANYTHING going to move?

      Also I was at the Race of Champions last year at Rajamangala, and only like 10,000 seats were taken up. For this to be anything close to a succes, ticket prices must be payable by atleast middle class Thais, and I am afraid they wont be.

      On a further note, what happens to all these plans if the King dies? Many people are expecting quite a political stir if this happens, and I would expect that a new political leader would mean a new look on an F1.

      1. They would have to close the downtown area for at least a week for the race… and how much disruption would all the building work entail ?

  5. I think people are forgetting that F1 is a world focused sport, and with Asia being the biggest emerging market for sponsors and fans of course they will have more races. The only way to grow the fan base around the world is to equally distribute races on each of the continents which means Europe will obviously lose races. It obviously means some fans won’t be happy but it is for the ‘greater good’ so get on with it.

    1. “Asia being the biggest emerging market for sponsors and fans”…then why are the Korean,Chinese,Bahrain and Abu Dhabi races so poorly attended?? The only Asian races which have been highly appreciated by the local fans are Japan(but its not a recent addition to the calender),Malaysia,Singapore and India(to a lesser extent). Infact,the poor attendance we see in Asian races is one of the major gripes which i have against Bernie’s “look-East” policy…

      1. That’s the most ridiculous argument I’ve ever heard … Why do you care about attendance ? .. No one does as long as the racing is good !…
        Anyway you’ve got your data all wrong … Only Korea and maybe Bahrain is poorly attended, China has been very well attended for the last 2 years. All the others are doing well… Singapore GP has been sold every year since it’s inauguration.

      2. Attendance will surely increase as more people get exposed to the sport, plus the organisers must make it affordable for the locals to actually go and see the racing on the track and not just tv. The Indian GP has done a great job with the tickets with the cheapest being £20, and with Force India being in the sport there is actual interest so hopefully attendance will grow to more than the 65,000 it was last year.

  6. Um… is that a roundabout after the hairpin…?

    1. @tommy-c – Yes, it is. Although it could be a roundabout on the approach to the hairping.

      However, that image of Webber going past the monument is taken from the roundabout. In the centre of the roundabout the is Democracy Monument, and the road itself is Ratchadamnoen Avenue. Ratchadamnoen Avenue is one of the main thoroughfares through Bangkok. If you check out the satellite view of the city, you’ll see that the road is actually five or six lanes wide there – the King of Siam who had it built used to have massive royal parades down it – so it’s not going to be much of a chicane. The cars will take it at or near full throttle.

    2. Sure is, the one on the picture on top too @tommy-c

  7. David not Coulthard (@)
    26th April 2013, 15:36

    If the FIA doesn’t add corners to that, then it looks good. (New) Tracks with long straights and few corners are as rare as motor racing fans wanting to go to Aintree, I think, so I see something refreshing.

    A great reason to remove Bahrain, though perhaps not good enough to BE, among others?

  8. So to see a new, challenging course… Is Bernie wanting the F1 drivers of 2015 to also have to dodge the karts that will be racing on the track as well?

  9. Korea was meant to have been last race last year, the promoter is still insisting, i can’t see it continue past this year, the single big issue to it is the location, it’s so far from the Seoul and a disaster as the planned development never came through.

    There was talk of a F1 race in Gangwon province – Inje which is 120km from Seoul in a touristy province but the track is 3.9-4km and grade 2 FIA only, due to be finished this July and having LMP, Ferrari WEC, Formula Nippon F2 starting in August.

    Thailand is awesome, you can get everything 1st world food/drinks and services for 3rd world prices.

  10. This track is going to look incredible, especially at dusk.

  11. It looks more like Samurai Jack’s leg. With swollen hamstrings.

  12. Ah, I see once again Bernie is preparing to sell out to the asians, and probably end up removing a proper quality circuit. If you ask me, we don’t need more street tracks, but a French GP should be held once more or the european gp held there.

    1. Europe have no money ! … Who is paying for the technology currently invested in F1 ? .. The paltry 5 to 10 million paid by most existing European circuits ? ….
      F1 is becoming very popular worldwide, Europeans are not the only people watching anymore… Stop complaining.

  13. Chris (@aclasschris)
    26th April 2013, 19:53

    Oh good, another irrelevant street course in a city/country with no motor sports heritage or Formula 1 fan base…

    1. Indeed…

      Can’t wait to see the turn out for this. Probably around 25 not including all staff, promoters and rich nobodies.

      1. I don’t think so. Most of the Asian races haven’t actually targeted major cities. With this location people will struggle to avoid it- the biggest problem could be ticket prices keeping locals from giving it a look.

    2. @classchris Sorry but your statement is not true. Thais are absolutely crazy about cars and motorsport, and don’t forget it is the home of Red Bull (atleast 51% of it). Most of Thailands racing is Touring and GT cars, but fans also follow F1 and Le Mans.

      Being a full time racemechanic in Thailand, I can tell you that if F1 delivers a good show at a fair price, the basis for succes is huge. If the Thais fall in love this GP would be awesome, but if they are denied acces (by fx ticket prices), it will take them further away from F1.

      At Bang Saen GP last year (a 4-day event on a small beachside/street track 100km southeast of Bangkok) there was an attendance of over 200,000 people! The racing was a mix of GT and touring car races. The event also attracts million dollar sponsor contract by companies such as Coca Cola, Singha, Toyota etc.

      Also Thailand actually has had an F1-driver:

  14. Looks good to me. All the best tracks only have a few corners. All the recent streetish tracks have way too many turns – Valencia, Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Korea.

  15. Abdurahman (@)
    27th April 2013, 3:10

    If your gonna do a street circuit, might as well make it somewhere interesting. Let’s see, an abandoned olympic park in Russia, or downtown Bangkok. Which one do you think will be a more interesting weekend???? I think the whole idea is wild and fantastic.

  16. Can you imagine a country like France which has given a lot to motor sports and has a lot to offer to motor sports ( Alain Prost, Renault, Magny Cours ) has no race but a places like Thailand, Korea are considered more worthy ? Wth.

    We already have a lot of established actual race tracks that are not put on the F1 calendar like Imola, Magny Cours, etc. We don’t need more street tracks.

  17. My 2015 Calendar, And no New Jersey

    Round 1: Australia
    Round 2: Malaysia
    Round 3: Thailand
    Round 4: Bahrain
    Round 5: Monaco
    Round 6: Canada
    Round 7: United States
    Round 8: Mexico
    Round 9: Belgium
    Round 10: Germany
    Round 11: Spain
    Round 12: Hungary
    Round 13: Italy
    Round 14: Russia
    Round 15: Japan
    Round 16: China
    Round 17: Singapore
    Round 18: Russia
    Round 19: Abu Dhabi
    Round 20: Brazil

    1. I think my calendar is more accurate what will happen. Even though Turkey is not there

    2. @hawkaussie – the British Grand Prix is staying, as long as Ecclestone’s in charge and the vast majority of the teams are based in Britain.

      1. How did I forget that

  18. Another Singapore, i.e. a triumph of backdrop at the expense of track design.

  19. Just think it was only a decade ago when I & many others were all saying “thank god F1 is one series we’ll never see race at night”, and look come 2015 we’ll have atleast 3 possibly 4 night races (Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Bangkok & possibly Bahrain).

    Part of me is like ‘cool another street race in an exotic country & because of the time difference it’ll be a great viewing time here in the States’….. But then part of me is like ‘blah another boring street race in some crappy country that we won’t get to see any of anyway because it’ll be nighttime not to mention said country has like no racing history’….. But then again at the same time I would love for the Shanghai race to be replaced with a night race on the streets of Hong-Kong with all kinds of neon shop signs along the side of the track (think the fantasy Gran Turismo tracks, though most of those are Japanese).

  20. James Marten 1977
    30th April 2013, 3:28

    It’s really difficult to see how the city could handle a Grand Prix. Traffic and roads are pretty bad here. Interesting take on it from a local reporter here…

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