Saturday, April 27, 2013


I have written before about Thailand being interested to host an F1 race here. It was to be a street race in the heart of Bangkok. I didn't give it much thought at the time as the announcement was made suddenly and the Thai authorities did sound too confident about it. As we all know, things change very quickly in F1 and deals can be made upside down. So, it was not really a groundbreaking news at the time.

Now after being so quiet for so long they've burst on the scene again and this time they even have an approved track layout and they're saying it will be a night race. This looks like a stronger case for the race but as we know in F1, anything is possible. Plus we also know that at the moment the calendar is quite full with so many other countries lining to pay Bernie his money. So, I'm not quite sure who will get the chop to make way for Thailand.

Although I have a bad feeling it will be Malaysia. Singapore has only been on the scene for a few short years but they've already outclassed Malaysia (who have been doing it for 15 years). Singapore has even been likened to the Monaco of the east. And the race in Malaysia has no festive air to it, plus the track at Sepang is a dump to say the least. Imagine having to wade in ankle deep water inside the toilet. And I'm a Malaysian. That really sucks.

Can we compete with Thailand? Really? Bernie has made his feelings known about the Sepang circuit many times and I do not see the Sepang management doing anything much about it. They had the government's media talk up Sepang after this year's race which celebrated our 15th anniversary.

MALAYSIA staged its 15th edition of the Formula One (F1) race last weekend. Under the current contract, which became effective in, it will hold its 17th and last race in 2015.
Is the government game for F1 to continue beyond 2015? Should the public chide it if the government were to seek and get a contract extension to hold the world’s hottest race? It’s good to hear from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak that the government is seriously considering the possibility of extending the contract to host the race.
The government wants to "consider" extending the contract? The Malaysian government does not have any power to extend the contract. That is 100% up to Bernie. The statement should be whether Bernie wants to extend the contract. With shoddy track facilities and lack of festivities surrounding the race (not to mention promotions), what do you think will happen in 2015? I wouldn't hold my breath.

I didn't say anything..
Anyway, back to Thailand. Officials in Thailand have approved the route of a circuit on which it proposes to host a Formula One race in 2015. The 3.725 miles (5.995 km) track which runs through the streets of Bangkok was approved on Thursday by Kanokphand Chulakasem, the governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand.

The "approved" layout..
The proposed circuit passes a number of civic monuments including the Grand Palace, Temple of Dawn and Victory Monument, while the pits and paddock complex would be built alongside the Chao Phraya River. Temporary stands would be erected, capable of holding a crowd of 150,000 people. Kanokphand Chulakasem said:

"We may be about to build the main stands in the river. It would also be convenient for transportation of equipment."
With the circuit layout finalised, the proposal, which includes the race being hosted at night, will be submitted for cabinet approval, a process that can take up to three months. Interesting times we live in, eh?

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