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Monza at risk as F1 eyes Thailand for future grand prix

Monza at risk as F1 eyes Thailand for future grand prix
© Reuters
A potential new Formula 1 event in Thailand could displace a longstanding and iconic European race from the sport's yearly schedule.

A potential new Formula 1 event in Thailand could displace a longstanding and iconic European race from the sport's yearly schedule.

The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, communicated to L'Equipe that "France must host a grand prix," especially after the discontinuation of the Paul Ricard race post-2022.

Estrosi has been tasked by the national government to prepare a study on the feasibility of reintroducing a French Grand Prix, possibly on the scenic streets of Nice.

However, plans to introduce a Formula 1 race in Thailand are progressing more swiftly. In April, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali discussed - in Thailand - the prospect of a street race in Bangkok with Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin.

The Thai Prime Minister, who attended the Imola race last weekend, later confirmed he had "a discussion with executives of the Formula One Group."

"This resonates with our policy to place Thailand on the global radar for international events and activities," Prime Minister Thavisin remarked.

Introducing a Thai Grand Prix would extend the race calendar to 25 events, which Domenicali has indicated he wishes to avoid.

Amidst these developments, Angelo Sticchi Damiani, head of Italy's automobile club Aci, expresses concern over the potential impact on Italy's two grands prix in Imola and Monza.

Monza's F1 agreement is set to expire next year, and significant track updates are underway to modernize the venue.

"When we have certainty from the government regarding the possibility of public funding, we will be able to try to have an agreement with Formula 1," Sticchi Damiani stated in La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"We are aiming for a ten-year agreement, on the model recently inaugurated by Hungary."

Sticchi Damiani also noted the presence of the Thai Prime Minister at the Imola event last weekend.

"We are in a context where everything is changing rapidly," he explained. "The prime minister of an Asian country that wants F1 was present in Imola."

"The issue is that on the one hand Liberty Media is pushing to compete in places that can offer hospitality services that can be sold for large sums, in particular the Paddock Club."

"On the other hand, the bulk of the competition comes from Europe where we will have Madrid coming in and two great nations like France and Germany don't have a grand prix at all but are pushing."

"In short, making proclamations is useless. We need to be realistic and understand that we need to act quickly and that time is not our ally," Sticchi Damiani concluded.

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Stefano Domenicali at on September 2, 2023
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