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FIA World Motor Sports Council release 2014 F1 Calendar - September 28, 2013 by admin
Paris Headquarters of the FIA

Paris Headquarters of the FIA, photo by Phanuruch Phongsutilak

Of course no race is definite until the circuit is homogulated by the Fia, to confirm it is safe for racing and for spectators at Formula One level. For this reason at least the New Jersey, Mexican and Russian races on the latest F1 Calendar released for 2014 may not go ahead but there still may be more to it than this.

This is the most official calendar yet, it has been confirmed by the FIA World Motor Sports Council rather than the previous Calendar which was released unofficially by FOM, as far as anyone knows at least. Many now believe the early release of this calendar that had 21 races and didn’t include the New Jersey Race was leaked by FOM to push the News Jersey Race Promoters to get their house in order and possibly to come up with some of the money for staging the race, now scheduled for 1st of June.

Whether everything is sorted though is another mater and the New Jersey Race and Mexican Races are still subject to confirmation, interestingly though the Russian Grand Prix at Sochi isn’t though the circuit there isn’t complete. There may be more than give the circuit the once over before these races are confirmed then. For Mexico this isn’t surprising, these are early days and we are yet to hear much about the race, set to take place in MexicoCity. We know it is going to be a street circuit but the location and layout is still unclear.

There is no reason to believe the New Jersey race probably won’t happen, presumably Bernie Ecclestone still believes it is worth putting time into negotiations and there must be people with the potential to fund the race to talk to.

2014 could be a 22 race season then, but don’t be surprised if it is 21, 20 or even possibly 19 races with Korea also yet to be confirmed as they try to negotiate more favourable terms, though indications are that this is close to happening. There are also questions about how rules on engines for the season will now work with an extra two races to recovered by 5 engines: some believe Bernie is keeping two races, possibly including Korea, on the calendar for now with the notion of dropping them if Mexico and New Jersey come off.

The 2014 season F1 Race Calendar as released on the 27th of September 2013

16th March – Australian Grand Prix (Albert Park, Melbourne)
30th March – Malaysian Grand Prix (Sepang, Kuala Lumpur)
6th April – Bahrain Grand Prix (Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir)
20th April – Chinese Grand Prix (Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai)
27th April – Korean Grand Prix* (Korea International Circuit, Yeongam)
11th May – Spanish Grand Prix (Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona)
25th May – Monaco Grand Prix (Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo)
1st June – Grand Prix of America* (Port Imperial, New Jersey)
8th June – Canadian Grand Prix (Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal)
22nd June – Austrian Grand Prix (Red Bull Ring, Spielberg)
6th July – British Grand Prix (Silverstone, Northamptonshire)
20th July – German Grand Prix (Hockenheimring, Hockenheim)
27th July – Hungarian Grand Prix (Hungaroring, Budapest)
24th August – Belgian Grand Prix (Spa-Franchorchamps, Spa)
7th September – Italian Grand Prix (Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza)
21st September – Singapore Grand Prix(Marina Bay, Singapore)
5th October – Russian Grand Prix (Olympic Park, Sochi)

12th October – Japanese Grand Prix (Suzuka International Circuit, Suzuka)
26th October – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Yas Marina, Yas Island)
9th November – United States Grand Prix (Circuit of the Americas, Austin)
16th November – Mexican Grand Prix* (Mexico City)
30th November – Brazilian Grand Prix (Interlagos, Sao Paulo)

2014 F1 calendar, what we know, what we think we know and what we don’t know - September 9, 2013 by admin
Bernie Ecclestone

Mr Bernie Ecclestone Photo Courtesy of Nick J Webb

So a provisional calendar was released for the 2014 season on 5th September. What we can read from this though is limited and it really is provisional and not necessarily an indication of contracts for races, or lack of them, or a confirmation that certain new races will be ready on time.

There are three new races on the 21 race calendar but this could still become 4 new races on a 22 race calendar. Of the new races on the calendar though 2 are subject to confirmation as is the Korean Race.

Before we get on to the new races let’s talk about the existing races, the Korean race could very easily drop off the calendar next year and if not then soon, the race – at Yeongam in the countries rural and relatively remote south west corner – is reported to be loss making and government funding may be withdrawn.The race taking place is going to be down it seems to a new contract with a lower fee being agreed, the fact that the Korean Grand Prix is even provisionally on the calendar suggests both sides are willing to negotiate at least.

Other interesting things to notice include the Spanish Grand Prix talking place at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona again – and not at the Valencia Street Circuit that it at one point seemed would alternate the Spanish Grand Prix with Barcelona – and the German Grand Prix returns to Hockenheim again, this perhaps is less surprising and seeing if the race will still go to the Nurburgring the year after is more of an issue. Since the calendar was released we have also heard that the Bahrain race will become another night race.

The Hungarian Grand Prix is on the calendar and isn’t subject to confirmation, some have suggested that the race’s days are numbered with the Russian race joining the calendar next year and FOM wanting to cut the number of European races. The Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi circuit though is still subject to confirmation and a lot of reports have said the circuit won’t be ready in time, the Winter Olympics take place on the same site at the beginning of the year (in February), giving organisers until October 19th to prepare but with the circuit surface already mainly down there is no reason to believe this couldn’t happen.

the Sochi circuit as it will appear in 2014

How the finished track will appear: Image from Formula Sochi


It was perhaps even more of a surprise for most people that the Mexican race is provisionally on the calendar and although the support for such a race is obviously there now with two mexicans – Perez at Mclaren and Guittirez at Sauber – in F1 a Mexican race was perhaps inevitable but few expected it to happen quite so quickly. A race in Mexico City will take place on the 9th of Novemeber it seems though and although there is no reason to doubt this the details are still thin on the ground, maybe 2015 is more likely.

The Austrian Grand Prix seems fairly straight forward compared to the Russian and Mexican races, the circuit is there, both the circuit owners and Bernie want a race in Austria it seems, there is a history of and following for F1 in Austria and with the Red Bull Ring owned by Red Bull co-founder Materschitz finances aren’t really an issue.

What then of the potential 22nd race, some would be incredulous at the idea of having a 22 race season but we’ve lost count of how many times Bernie has put a cap on the number of races in the season and then exceeded it. Still though many are now very doubtful this race, the New Jersey race at Port Imperial, will happen for other reasons. This was going to be a street circuit, meaning there is no circuit lying unused, but some construction work on the pit and paddock buildings began but there is still no news on the funding for this race. However as the source of the funding was never public in the first place we would be unlikely to know anything until after the cheque is in Bernie’s pocket: he says the race could still happen and we wouldn’t expect him to let his long term dream, of having a race with a bad drop of the New York city skyline, go too easily.

The 2014 F1 Calendar(provisional:

16th March – Australian Grand Prix (Albert Park, Melbourne)
23rd March – Malaysian Grand Prix (Sepang, Kuala Lumpur)
6th April – Chinese Grand Prix (Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai)
13th April – Korean Grand Prix* (Korea International Circuit, Yeongam)
27th April – Bahrain Grand Prix (Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir)
11th May – Spanish Grand Prix (Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona)
25th May – Monaco Grand Prix (Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo)
8th June – Canadian Grand Prix (Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal)
22nd June – Austrian Grand Prix (Red Bull Ring, Spielberg)
6th July – British Grand Prix (Silverstone, Northamptonshire)
20th July – German Grand Prix (Hockenheimring, Hockenheim)
27th July – Hungarian Grand Prix (Hungaroring, Budapest)
24th August – Belgian Grand Prix (Spa-Franchorchamps, Spa)
7th September – Italian Grand Prix (Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza)
21st September – Singapore Grand Prix(Marina Bay, Singapore)
5th October – Japanese Grand Prix (Suzuka International Circuit, Suzuka)
19th October – Russian Grand Prix* (Olympic Park, Sochi)
26th October – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Yas Marina, Yas Island)
9th November – Mexican Grand Prix* (Mexico City)
16th November – United States Grand Prix (Circuit of the Americas, Austin)
30th November – Brazilian Grand Prix (Interlagos, Sao Paulo)

Austrian Grand Prix to return to F1 calendar - July 23, 2013 by admin

”]the 2002 Austrian Grand PrixMany younger F1 fans may not realise the importance of Austria to Formula One but with a long history of the Austrian Grand Prix (first staged as a championship race in 1964) and for many years at the iconic Österreichring) and with Austrian former World Champions Jochen Rindt and Niki Lauda as well as other Austrian drivers like Jo Siffert and Gerhard Berger amongst the sports greats: many believe that Austria deserves to have a place on the calendar almost as much as other noticeable absentee France.



Well it seems that we may not have to wait much longer with the running of the Austrian Grand Prix set for the 6th of July 2014. The Österreichring circuit may be gone but it has evolved, via the A1 Ring, into the modern Red-Bull Ring, owned by Dietrich Mateschitz’s soft drink company who of course also own the Red Bull and Toro Rosso teams.


Often we hear rumours of Formula One moving to a circuit before negotiations have even begun in earnest, often the rumours are put out by the circuit owners to garner support. With the Red Bull Ring though there were few if any mentions that this was on the cards but the team behind the negotiations have today announced that the agreement is all but completed it seems.


The last time the Austrian Grand Prix was run was in 2003 at the A1 Ring, the circuit though needed modernisation and a track extension was planned. However it wasn’t until Austrian Dietrich Mateschitz decided his company should buy the A1 Ring circuit and took the decision to invest in it heavily that re-development really began in earnest with the circuit reopening in 2011.


The FIA still need to confirm the agreement at the next World Motorsport Council meeting but it seems from Red Bull’s announcement this morning that the vital agreement between the circuit and Bernie Ecclestone has been completed. Any problems now would probably only be due to concerns about the safety of the circuit but it is already used for top level FIA sanctioned motorsport and was redeveloped with Formula One Racing in mind.


The Austrian Grand Prix had been mentioned as a replacement this year for the postponed New Jersey Grand Prix but this idea never came to fruition. Whether the agreement now is to fill the gap the New Jersey Grand Prix will leave if it is cancelled, is unclear. The addition of a new race to the calender though will raise questions about the New Jersey race, which many believe is now unlikely to go ahead: especially as it would seem otherwise another race would need to be removed in order to fit in the Austrian race as there are already likely to be 20 races next year prior to the Austrian race being added.


 

Is there really any chance of the 2013 Bahrain GP being cancelled? - April 18, 2013 by admin
2010 Bahrain Grand Prix - Sunday

Start of the 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix , Photo Courtesy of LG EPR

A car bomb set off in Manama’s Financial District on Sunday night, the 13th of April, a week before the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix, and with the opposition February 14 movement claiming responsibility, has of course raised security concerns: but is there really a chance of the race being cancelled in 2013? Or perhaps postponed?

The Bahrain Grand Prix won’t be cancelled due to the rights and wrongs of what happened in 2011, and since, where the Bahrain Police and Government have been accused of Human Rights abuses. The Bahrain Grand Prix was cancelled in 2011 but returned in 2012, many believed it shouldn’t have done so and that F1 shouldn’t have been seen to support the Bahrain Government. The arguments against running the race in 2013 though haven’t strengthened since 2012 so on this count there is no reason to believe the race will be cancelled, and certainly not at this late stage.


The potential for disruption to the Grand Prix though, including attacks, has to be considered still, and monitored up to the morning of the race. In 2012 an incident where a vehicle the Force India team’s personnel were traveling between the circuit and their hotel in was attacked with petrol bombs saw the team sit out Friday practice. This followed assurances in the run up to the Grand Prix, from security and police in Bahrain, that no such incidents would occur.


Has this changed in 2013 then? Are security risks higher following this bombing? Presumably the timing of which a week before the Grand Prix isn’t coincidental, or is security tighter this year with more detailed planning in place?


Bernie Ecclestone doesn’t see a problem in going back this year but the teams have to be willing to attend so all will need assurances. Force India though, understandably the team most likely to be concerned about security threats, have come out saying they have no concerns.


Bob Fernley of Force India is quoted by AutoSport as saying “There are bound to be incidents, but ours was just one of those unfortunately things last year and it just got blown out of all proportion,” and so it appears the race will go ahead baring any incidents between now and then.


The worry is of course that protestors and opposition groups such as the February 14 movement will try to scare away the teams, who have now arrived at the Sakhir circuit, before a wheel is turned.

World Cup, Olympics and now F1 could come to Rio - March 28, 2013 by admin
Surrounded by the city, the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace

Surrounded by the city, the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, photo by Marlon Hammes

Rio de Janeiro could host yet another Blue Riband Sport event with the possibility of the Brazilian Grand Prix moving from it’s current home at Interlagos, Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro by 2016, the same year the city will host the Olympics.


The Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in Sao Paulo, otherwise known as Interlagos, though seen as one of the great circuits of the world, does have some issues. It needs modernising and space even for this is limited, it is likely the pits will be moved in the near future. Also though a motorway alongside the current pit straight means that no extra run-off area can be added leading to safety issues.



Fernando Alonso had a major accident here in 2003 and in other formulas there have been even more serious crashes including two deaths in 2011 in truck racing and stock cars. In Formula One safety is paramount and a loss of downforce in the curve coming into the start finish straight or a coming together here could even in modern F1 potentially lead to a serious injury or even fatality.



So Interlagos either needs a serious overhaul and new layout, in which the Senna Ss and the pit straight could even be lost if potential plans unveiled in 2012 are followed, or Interlagos may find it loses out to a new circuit and it seems that Rio is willing to build this.



As Brazil’s two main cities there is certainly a rivalry between the two, Sao Paulo on the one hand is an economic powerhouse and the biggest city in the southern hemisphere. Rio is seen as Brazil’s cultural capital though and one of South America’s biggest tourist destinations: with people flocking to Copacabana beach.



The funds therefore could be probably found for a new circuit in Sao Paulo or an overhaul of Interlagos that would meet Bernie Ecclestone’s requirements but he does seem to like the idea of a Grand Prix in Rio de Janeiro: where F1 was last seen in 1990 at the Jacarepagua circuit, itself recently demolished. Talking about the potential for a race in Rio Bernie Ecclestone said “The mayor has told me they can get it done,”.

19 Races, that’s it for 2013; FIA confirm calender - March 9, 2013 by admin
Paris Headquarters of the FIA

Paris Headquarters of the FIA, photo by Phanuruch Phongsutilak

The calender was shuffled and there seemed to be tracks willing to stage a race so why a European race couldn’t be found to replace the postponed inaugural New Jersey race may never be known.

Maybe time just ran out and a week before practice for the season opener at Melbourne the FIA confirmed the calendar for 2013 with only 19 races.

Broadcasters among others would have wanted to confirm schedules. Also perhaps those who were originally willing to fund races at tracks such as the Red bull Ring in Austria, Portimao in Portugal and Magny Cours and Paul Ricard in France lost patience and feared the late addition of the race would effect ticket sales: as many fans choose which races to attend and buy tickets early in the new year.

The other interesting thing to note from the confirmed calender is that the Nurburgring remains on the calender and has not been switched for the Hockenheimring; tickets are now on sale for the German Grand Prix at the financially troubled circuit so it seems the race will go ahead here.

So the final calender for 2013 confirmed by the FIA  is :

March 17th         Australia (Melbourne /Albert Park)
March 24th         Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur /Sepang)
April 14th         China (Shanghai / Shanghai International Circuit)
April 21st         Bahrain (Sakhir)
May 12th           Spain (Barcelona /Circuit de Catalunya)
May 26th           Monaco (Monte Carlo /Circuit de Monaco)
June 9th           Canada (Montreal /Circuits Gilles Villeneuve)
June 30th          Britain (Silverstone)
July 7th           Germany (Nurburgring)*
July 28th          Hungary (Budabest /Hungaroring)
August 25th        Belgium (Spa /Spa Franchorchamps)
September 8th      Italy (Monza)
September 22nd     Singapore (Marina Bay)
October 6th        Korea (Yeongam) *
October 13th       Japan (Suzuka)
October 27th       India (New Delhi/ Buddh International Circuit)
November 3rd       Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)
November 17th      United States (Austin /Circuit of the Americas)
November 24th      Brazil (Sao Paulo /Interlagos)

Trying to finalise the 2013 Formula One Calendar, - February 2, 2013 by admin
Massa testing at Portimao, photo by Víctor J. Tornet

Massa testing at the Algarve International Circuit at Portimao, photo by Víctor J. Tornet

It seems the German Grand Prix will in fact not be at the Nurburgring in 2013 and the vacant European race might be filled by Portugal, though a French Grand Prix is still a possibility.

 

First to the vacant European race, A French race has long seemed most likely but a Turkish race at Istanbul Park or Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring have also been suggested, now a Portuguese Grand Prix (which would be the first since 1996) is being suggested as a possibility by Bernie Ecclestone.

 

Portugal’s Algarve region have a shiny, nearly, new circuit at Portimao. The Algarve International Circuit was homologated by the FIA in 2008 and was used for testing in in 2010. The circuit has also hosted events such as A1 GP in 2008 and Superbikes so has facilities for fans. In fact in 2009 then FIA President Max Mosley said he could see no reason why the Circuit couldn’t host F1 if an agreement was made with Formula One Management. Now Bernie has said the Portuguese are showing interest in hosting a race to fill this one off vacant European GP slot, created by the delay to the Port Imperial circuit in New Jersey.

 

It seems Austria isn’t an option as a replacement though, even though some had suggested Red Bull might finance the race at their Red Bull Ring circuit, formerly the A1 ring and the Osterreichring Bernie Ecclestone has suggested it is unlikely. He doesn’t think it could replace the German Grand Prix either it seems, based on an interview given by Mr Ecclestone last week in Austria.

 

Since then though Mr Ecclestone has confirmed that negotiations with the Nurburgring for this year’s German Grand Prix have ceased.

The Nurburgring, few F1 fans want to see the circuit lost to the sport, Photo by marc-john

The Nurburgring, few F1 fans want to see the circuit lost to the sport, Photo by marc-john

The circuit is in serious financial trouble and may soon need to seek Bankruptcy protection, this opens the potential for it to be sold but the circuit may be off the calender for at least a few years.

Those running the Hockenheimring have said they are willing and ready to host the race this year if they need to. Long term though they may find that hosting the German Grand Prix every year is unviable financially; both the Nurburgring and Hockenheim did seem to find their arrangement to host the race in alternate years as a good solution.

You might have thought then that a new deal where Hockenheim and the Red Bull Ring alternate might have been ideal but it seems not. With increasing pressure on European circuits though and Bernie Ecclestone looking to cut Grand Prix it could be that a circuit such as the Hungaroring might see alternating with Hockenheim as the only way to keep a Grand Prix long term.

With the start of the 2013 season only just over a month away though it seems that the season could well start with an unfinalised calender.

France, Turkey and now Austria could fill in 2013 calender gap - December 9, 2012 by admin

,”]th 2002 Austrian Grand Prix An Austrian Grand Prix is the latest potential one off race that could be slotted into the 2013 calendar to make up for the cancelled New Jersey Grand Prix of America which should now take place for the first time in 2014.
Initially the French Grand Prix seemed the most likely to fill the gap, which could if successful lead to a permanent place on the calender either at Paul Ricard or Magny Cours. A clash with the Le Mans  24 hours though on the weekend that the Grand Prix America would have taken place made it look like the French Grand Prix would be unviable. Changes to the calender though have now been made possible for a European race to take place in the three week gap before the German Grand Prix which has been moved to the 7th of July.

All that has been confirmed is that this gap will have a European race slotted in, which could include a Turkish Grand Prix, this is a better solution wherever the race is held as if the race had taken place on the weekend after the Canadian Grand Prix, where the New Jersey race was set to take place, then it would have been tough for teams to get from Montreal to Europe in the two days between finishing the Canadian Grand Prix and being set up again to race in Europe.

The gap being made shows Bernie Ecclestone’s determination to make 2013 another 20 race season and he initially backed a French

istanbul pit straight

Istanbul Park Pit Straight Photo Courtesy of Ph-Stop

Grand Prix, which is still a possibility. The Turkish Government though have said it is up to them whether a race happens at Istanbul Park as the funding is not forthcoming but the Turkish Government have since said they wouldn’t fund a race, meaning a 2013 Turkish Grand Prix could still happen if funding is found elsewhere but is less likely. Istanbul Park is a popular circuit with teams and with fans, although seemingly not local fans who failed to fill the stands in the past.

So now the only other circuit that looked like it might have the  setup in place to host a race in 2013, the Red Bull Ring, formerly the A1 Ring, has thrown its hat into the err…. ring. The circuit at Spielberg hasn’t hosted F1 since 2003 but Dietrich Materschitz has invested heavily in the circuit to bring it up to modern standards and bringing back an Austrian Grand Prix to the circuit, potentially alternating with another circuit, has been on the cards for a year or two now, the circuit reopened in early 2011, with little progress. Funding for the race could potentially come from Red Bull as well though and with F2 at the circuit in 2012 it has been put through its paces with top quality motorsport.

The four circuits in question could all provide good races and European F1 fans will be happy to see an extra race on the continent that has been losing races over the last few years with 2013 otherwise set to have the least World Championship F1 races, 7,  since 1969 when there were 7 European races but of a total of 11 Grand Prix .

New York GP stumble is chance for the French - November 2, 2012 by admin

 

Paul_Ricard_tribunes_stands

The Paul Ricard circuit, photo by Baptiste Vialatte

So the New York Grand Prix of America, to be held at Port Imperial has missed the boat with finances and won’t take place in 2013 despite having been put on the provisional calendar as part of a double header with the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. It seems though that the French Grand Prix, despite a decision being needed on where it would be held and no finance in place for either option could still be on the 2013 calendar: its advantage being two candidate circuits, Magny Cours and Paul RIcard, that are ready to go.
The return of the French Grand Prix has been a long running saga and it had looked dead in the water for 2013 at least when the new government under President Francois Hollande ordered a review into the race that the previous government had all but signed a contract for: to take place at  at the Paul Ricard circuit close to Marsailles.
The loss of the Grand Prix of America from the calendar though offers an interesting opportunity as it seems that the French Grand Prix may be able to sign a one year deal to fill in next year. This would allow the government of whichever region the race takes place in to minimise their risk, a one off race that was poorly attended would have less potential for loss than a five or more year deal that then loses money each year.

If the French race was successful of course then a new deal could be agreed and another race may be forced to make way or agree a deal to alternate with the French race, though which race this would be is now less obvious since the Belgian Grand Prix signed a new deal to host the their race every year, Spa Frnachorchamps had been considering a race share with the French Grand Prix earlier this year.

The German Grand Prix is a candidate though if the Nurburgring fails to sort out its finances and cannot continue alternating with the Hockenheimring who have said they can host a race every year but may prefer a race every other year if the deal is right.

Whatever happens regarding negotiations for a 2013 French Grand Prix though will probably happen fast or not at all: time is ticking and though the two options of Magny Cours (in central France close to Clermont Ferrand) and Paul Ricard are both up to Formula One standards already there is more to putting on a Grand Prix than this and promoters would want to begin selling tickets as soon as possible, probably by the end of 2012, to ensure enough were sold to cover costs. Of course with a gap in the calendar, and right in the middle of the European season, Bernie may be willing to reduce the cost, especially for a race at the Paul Ricard circuit that he happens to own.

Bernie certainly seems keen on one of the French circuits filling the gap, though he is also in no doubts that the Grand Prix of America will take place at Port Imperial in 2014. Mr Ecclestone this week was quoted as saying of a 2013 French Grand Prix:

“Which circuit they are going to use is one thing… Who is going to pay for it, that’s the bottom line. If they are ready, we can slot it in the calendar.”

Greek Grand Prix still set to be held at Piraeus, Athens - October 11, 2012 by admin
The proposed Piraeus, Athens circuit, as submitted to the FIA and Bernie

The proposed Piraeus, Athens circuit, as submitted to the FIA and Bernie, image supplied by DielpisFormula1

Despite it being built to Grand Prix standards it appears that the new government funded Patras circuit in Greece may not have any plans, even in the long run, to host a Formula One Grand Prix and that rather than a replacement for the other touted Greek Grand Prix circuit at Piraeus, Athens both are likely to be built with the Piraeus Port circuit planning to host a Greek Grand Prix from the off.

 

DielpisFormula1, the group behind the Piraeus circuit, today denied reports that their plan had been cancelled or that the Greek government had decided to back the Patras circuit instead of their development. The plans as we previously reported for a Greek Grand Prix at Piraeus have been submitted to the FIA and to Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula One Management (FOM) and there is no reason to believe that the application has been withdrawn:  it appears in fact that the plans have now also been submitted to the Automobile and Touring Club of Greece (ELPA).

 

Press Release

In a press release today DielpisFormula1’S Architect Athanassios P Papatheodorou made it clear that the project was continuing and that contrary to reports the Greek Government didn’t back their bid the Greek Deputy Minister of Development has in fact given his support for the project to move forward apace.

 

Little news has been heard from the Piraeus project since the plans were submitted to the FIA but the press release also made it clear that Bernie Ecclestone does support the Grand Prix, in principle, we await to hear an outcome therefore.

 

It may be that DielpisFormula1 have chosen to speak out at this time as rumours swirled due to the fact they are still seeking investment, which any doubt on the race’s future could scupper,; the press release ended with Mr Papatheodorou writing:

“In the present time we are making contact with interested investors and we deem that pretty soon the procedure shall be completed, in order for the Greek dream regarding the hosting of F1 races in the Port of Piraeus to come true”

 

The Piraeus circuit will be a temporary circuit around Piraeus, Athens’ main port and Europe’s busiest Ferry Terminal.

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