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Bulgaria eyeing spot on F1 calendar

Bulgaria is moving closer to securing a spot on the Formula 1 calendar, with officials rumoured to be preparing a firm bid by next week.

The Eastern European country is one of a number of nations looking to secure a spot on the schedule in the coming years, but while the building of a first international circuit is already being financed, a proposed second track is being earmarked for F1 hosting duties.

Currently, plans are in place for the country's first race circuit to host a round of the MotoGP motorcycle world championship in 2011, but it isn't intended to host F1 too. Nonetheless, should the country be shown the green light to host F1, possibly in 2011, then building work will start in April.

"We expect to have a result by next week," Bulgarian Motorcycling Federation head Bogdan Nikolov told national daily Dnevnik. "Once we sign the contract for hosting an F1 event, we can build a second track.”

Despite the bold claims, however, Bulgaria's Motorsport Federation head Georgi Yankoulov played down the plans, saying he isn't sure at what point negotiations have reached.

"I know about these negotiations and until half-a-year ago I was part of them, but since then I haven't received any official information from FIA. However I can not imagine that FIA will take any commitment before the ground breaking ceremony for the track," he said.

"I am not against the idea but I have moderate expectations about it. The task is too complicated and difficult especially in the current situation of an economic crisis with sponsors are backing down.

"Formula One is not just about building a track. You need the proper infrastructure for it such as hotels, airport, good roads and service. The Black Sea town of Varna seems the most appropriate choice should Bulgaria gets to host F1.”

Formula 1 has become increasingly popular in Bulgaria recently, with two national broadcasters, bTV and TV7, showing live events simultaneously in 2009.

Should Bulgaria join the calendar, it will become the second Eastern European event alongside the Hungarian Grand Prix, held near the capital Budapest.


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Rodriguez 917 - Unregistered

March 22, 2009 2:09 PM

I'm all for other countries getting races as long as its for the right reason. As usual Bernie will be getting some amazing financial deal from this, he needs to address these problems first: 1. Get the US GP back, its not a full World Championship without the US GP 2. Lose one of the Spanish races, why should Spain have 2 races cos of Alonso and the UK possibly not have a single race despite having Hamilton. 3. Its good to move into the Arab countries but the interest just isn't there, again money is the only motivation for Bernie. If we're not careful F1 will become like Champcar was, spec engines and chassis and staging races in places that races shouldn't be held.

No 2 USA - Unregistered

March 22, 2009 6:30 PM

"Get the US GP back, its not a full World Championship without the US GP" Rubbish, F1 is no worse off without it (just the economic climate causing that). How many different 'World Series' sports does the US have that only includes themselves? Apart from tennis and golf America doesn't want to play the same sports as the rest of the world, instead making up their own versions. I will admit there are some classic tracks there (Indy GP not one of them though) but they were designed for American racing. Can't see F1 wanting to go to any of them without the FIA demanding major redesigns of the circuit.



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