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Thailand Eyes F1 as Prime Minister Attends Imola

Thailand Eyes F1 as Prime Minister Attends Imola

21/05/2024

Thailand’s Prime Minister attended the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, fueling speculation of a future F1 race in Bangkok. Discussions with F1 executives signal a significant step towards this ambition.

The rumor of Formula 1 heading to Thailand gained momentum this weekend, with the country’s Prime Minister, Srettha Thavisin, present at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix in Imola.

He engaged with Stefano Domenicali, the CEO of Formula 1, whom he had already met last month, and openly stated his goal of “bringing F1 races to Thailand in the near future.” The idea of an urban race in Bangkok is particularly intriguing, and Thavisin mentioned on social media that he views F1 as a significant development opportunity for the country.

“In line with the Thai government’s intention to bring F1 to Thailand in the near future, I visited the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari and discussed with Formula One Group executives. This is part of our policy to put Thailand on the global map for international events and activities,” Thavisin wrote.

Thailand aims to have a project funded by the state through the national oil company, a model seen in Saudi Arabia with the PIF, the country’s investment fund, or in the now-defunct Vietnam Grand Prix.

One thing is clear: F1 seeks a balanced calendar across continents, likely leading to the removal of one or two European races, as the continent currently represents a third of the calendar. Domenicali remarked, “It is now about maintaining the balance between the different continents that are requesting various Grands Prix.”

“Pitting Promoters Against Each Other”

Liberty Media’s CEO, owner of Formula 1, noted that the competition among promoters is beneficial for the sport, allowing it to choose circuits with the best offers.

“For a long time, it was thought that promotional growth would come from additional races,” said Greg Maffei. “We have obviously gone from 18 to 24 races, and we don’t plan to increase the number of races.”

“This creates a strong incentive to pit promoters against each other, not to exploit them, but because the demand for hosting an event is so high, we have been able to secure attractive prices and good returns.”

“We continue to find new venues and sites, which are very interested given the demand and the opportunities they have seen others pursue.”

Thailand Eyes F1 as Prime Minister Attends Imola

Thailand Eyes F1 as Prime Minister Attends Imola. Thailand Eyes F1 as Prime Minister Attends Imola

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