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Thailand set for 2015 F1 debut
19 December 2012
The proposed F1 night race in Bangkok looks set to make its first appearance on the calendar a year later than originally proposed, according to reports.
Thai sports authority governor Kanokphand Chulakasem - an advisor to Red Bull owner Chalerm Yoovidhya – met F1 ringmaster Ecclestone during the Singapore Grand Prix to hammer out details of an agreement, which initially appeared to place the event on the 2014 schedule. Question marks surrounded the hosting fee, with Thailand thought to be pursuing a favourable figure close to that agreed by Singapore for its new contract, but the government looked set to fund up to 60 per cent of any fee, with the rest hopefully coming from the likes of Red Bull and beer brand Singha.
Now, Ecclestone has revealed that it is the 2015 calendar, and not 2014, that will feature a night race on the streets of Bangkok.
"They say 2014 and I say 2015, but it is serious and it is good," he was quoted as telling the Wall Street Journal
Although the 2013 schedule looks set to revert to 19 races unless a replacement for the postponed New Jersey street race can be found, Thailand is likely to be a part of a 20-event calendar in 2015, with Russia's arrival in 2014 also looking to put pressure on existing venues. France, Turkey and South Africa are also looking for a way back into the line-up, while New Jersey is expected to be ready to join the fray in 2014.