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Todt: Indonesia not ready for F1

Jean Todt backs Indonesia to improve its standing in global motorsport, although it will take time before the Asian country is in a position to host an F1 event
FIA president Jean Todt had backed Indonesia to play host to more international motorsport, although the Frenchman insists that the Asian nation isn't in a position to target an F1 event.

The sport has expanded greatly into Asia in recent years, with the Japanese Grand Prix being joined on the calendar by events in China, Malaysia, Singapore and Korea – which makes its first appearance on the schedule later this year.

Speaking to the Jakarta Post, Todt said he was encouraged by the way in which motorsport has evolved in the Asian region in recent times, and while he backed Indonesia to play host to international racing in future, he insisted that any dreams of F1 would be some way down the line.

“Indonesia is a great and big country,” he said. “It seems surprising not to have more international worldwide motorsport events in Indonesia. I hope that at the top level of the country, starting from the President, will take the opportunity to implement international racing.

“Of course, F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport and I must say it's encouraging to see the evolution of the sport in the region of Asia. We have Malaysia that started with a Grand Prix, then you have the Grand Prix street circuit in Singapore, another in South Korea and also races in China and Japan.

“[F1 is feasible for Indonesia but] not now. But The World Touring Car Championship is. It depends from where you start, it's a step-by-step progress. If you want to make the F1 race you need a standard circuit. At the moment you do not have one of that standard.

“I feel strongly about the development of the World Touring Car Championship here. I myself went to the Sentul Circuit, and it was definitely not the standard Formula One Circuit, but I'm sure with some renovation, this circuit could be and host the Touring Car and GP One championship.

“Definitely for many manufacturers, this kind of racing is very important with the implementation of new technologies. I see a strong opportunity to implement different racing events. And Indonesia could be a strong opportunity.”

Tagged as: FIA , Jean Todt , Indonesia , Asia , Sentul

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Commodore S - Unregistered

February 22, 2010 12:22 PM

I respect your comments Racing Lover however please explain why we Australians are consistently called upon by Indonesia for funds if things are so rosy. We do not whinge about assisting a sister country however based on your comments your country is crying poor mouth for no known reason. I have the deepest sympathy for Indonesia and its attraction for terrorists through which a number of Australians were killed or maimed however do not party with your comments. Sorry.

Racing Lover - Unregistered

February 22, 2010 12:05 PM

Just funny to read all the facts that you talk about Indonesia is incorrect! Indonesia is the one of the only three countries in Asia that still has positive economic growth last year besides China and India. Indonesia Bank Manager can get annual package up to 35,000 USD / year. Yes, Indonesia is not ready yet to run F1 race now. But do you know that the main foreign visitors for Singapore GP last year came from Indonesia? Indonesia is one of most important market for Singapore to get money.

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