Bangkok likely to be venue of the next F1 night race
Thailand may soon follow the footsteps of Singapore as a host of a Formula One night race if negotiations push through with F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone. Thai government officials and key business executives have been in high-level negotiations at the recent Singapore GP with top F1 officials. Kanokphand Chulakasem, governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) confirmed to the Bangkok Post that they have agreed in principle for a street circuit race similar to that of Singapore and Monaco, but will be a night race like Singapore.
Thailand’s Sports and Tourism Minister Chumpol Silpa-archa expressed confidence yesterday that the Kingdom could host its first Formula One race as early as 2014.
Details regarding the final hosting fee are yet to be discussed. Silpa-archa earlier revealed that the cost distribution would most likely be a 60-40 split, with government shouldering 60-percent, while private companies like Red Bull and Singha would pay for the rest.
Thailand has a strong motorsport history with Prince Birabongse Bhanudej being the first ever Formula One Grand Prix driver from Southeast Asia and Thailand. A racing circuit in Pattaya called the Bira Circuit has also been named in honor of the late Prince.
In 2010, Red Bull hosted a Formula One demo run with Mark Webber driving along Ratchadamoen Avenue, once planned by the late Prince as a venue for hosting the Grand Prix in Thailand. The promotional event attracted more than 100,000 spectators.
Bangkok will be hosting the Race of Champions late this year at the Rajamangala Stadium with Formula One Champions Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel confirmed to participate in the event.