Thailand keen to host F1 race on streets of Bangkok

Thai Prime Minister lays down the gauntlet with plans to bring Formula One racing to the heart of the city

AFP April 23, 2024


Formula One fans could be treated to the sight of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton roaring around the steamy streets of Bangkok, with Thailand keen to host a race.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin hosted F1 boss Stefano Domenicali on Monday to pitch the government's vision of bringing a grand prix to the sprawling, traffic-clogged Thai capital.

No timeframe or detailed plans have been announced, but Thai officials told local media they envisage the race being run on a street circuit, possibly around the city's historic centre.

"Thailand has the capacity to host Formula One in Bangkok," Srettha posted on X, formerly Twitter, after meeting Domenicali.

"If successful, I'm confident that our country will bring impressive memories to others because we have the right potential, capacity and Thai people's hospitality."

Srettha's government is keen to push "soft power" initiatives to raise Thailand's profile and landing an F1 race would give tourism a lift as the kingdom's visitor-dependent economy bounces back from the pandemic.

Formula One is meanwhile keen to host more street races.

"Basically, if F1 is going to be held in Thailand, we want it to be held on the roads... we are currently working on the matter," government spokesman Chai Watcharong told local media.

Alex Albon of Williams is the only Thai currently competing in F1 and only the second driver in history to hail from the kingdom.


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