27 September 2012
Germany out, France in for F1 2013?
"It will be a city race like that in Singapore and Monaco, and it will be a night race like the Singapore Grand Prix," governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand Kanokphand Chulakasem said.
Chulakasem, also an advisor to Red Bull owner Chalerm Yoovidhya, met Ecclestone during the Singapore Grand Prix to hammer out details of the agreement, although the still appear to be question marks, as usual, over the cost of a place on calendar. Thailand is thought to be pursuing a figure close to that agreed by Singapore for its new contract, although tourism and sports minister Chumpol Silpa-archa has already said that the government would fund up to 60 per cent of any fee, with the rest hopefully coming from the likes of Red Bull and Singha.
As well as Thailand, South Africa continues to make noises about returning to the F1 schedule, even though such claims have proven to be little more than pipedreams in the past.
According to iol.co.za, the team looking to bring a grand prix to the streets of Cape Town claim to have attracted backers willing to invest the one billion Rand needed to host the event, but now need the approval of the national government before proceeding with an official bid. The report says that members of Cape Town Grand Prix SA are hoping to meet with sports and recreation minister Fikile Mbalula to secure the go ahead required.
Again, 2014 is being targeted as a likely debut for the Cape Town race, which could follow the lead set by the Russian Grand Prix - also due to run from 2014 - and one of the two proposed London layouts in taking advantage of the proximity of a major sporting stadium to form part of the layout.
“From what we know, the minister's office is not averse to meeting with us," Ester Henderson, communications chief officer for Cape Town Grand Prix SA, commented, "We do understand he has been very busy with international events, [but] we are still pursuing that meeting.”
Grant Pascoe, mayoral committee member for tourism, events and marketing, has welcomed the proposal, agreeing that a grand prix would increase visitor numbers, but remained wary of the cost implications.
“There will be need to be big infrastructural changes, huge engineering changes," he noted, "We need to weigh up the costs of hosting the grand prix.”
Ecclestone is tipped to present the draft 2013 calendar to the FIA's World Motor Sport Council for approval on Friday.
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