the Maserati of Prince Bira, Thailand's own Formula One driver

The Maserati of Prince Bira, Thailand's own Formula One driver, photo by Ketil3

It may seem that yet another Asian Grand Prix might be a bad thing, with more and more on the calender and poor attendance at some it may seem a bit hopeful. Many would also cite the fact that people in Thailand could fairly easily go to the Malaysian or Singapore Grand Prix as another reason to object.

 

Thailand however has more of a passion for Formula One than you might realise and besides that as a major tourist destination it hopes to attract tourists for holidays in the country alongside a visit to the Thai Grand Prix.

 

Unlike in China there is a base of support for Formula One in Thailand with Red Bull being the national team, this may seem a bit odd at first but the Red Bull drinks company was setup as a Thai-Austrian venture and still has strong links with the country. Dietrich Mateschitz still has links with the country as well and has given his backing to a Thai Grand Prix: with the potential for him to even become an investor in a new circuit though a street circuit in Bankok has been spoken about as the most likely and most attractive option both for spectecle and to show offf Thailand to the world.

 

Thailand like Malaysia has a link to Formula One going back further than most of Asia as well giving the race an even better chance of success. In fact Thailand’s link with the world championship goes back to the very first World Championship race the 1950 British Grand Prix where Prince Bira of then Siam, now Thailand, competed in a Maserati; he competed several more races, both championship and non chamionship, between 1950 and 1954. The Bira International Circuit is named after Prince Bira, who raced as B.Bira, and is currently Thailand’s only international standard circuit.