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Formula 1 Emilia Romagna GP

Thailand’s F1 GP bid moves forward as PM visits Imola

Thailand’s bid to secure a Formula 1 race has edged forward, with the country’s prime minister Srettha Thavisin attending Imola for talks about the idea.

Srettha Thavisin, Prime Minister of Thailand, Stefano Domenicali, CEO, Formula One Group

As part of an official visit to Italy, Thavisin was present at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix for discussions with F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, as well as meeting other stakeholders.

The Thai Grand Prix project is being pushed for by the government, but it is understood that Thavisin has sounded out Red Bull about its potential interest in joining the push.

Thavisin is targeting a deal to put on a street race in Bangkok, with hopes that it could be on the calendar in 2027 or 2028.

Posting on social media after his visit, he outlined his belief that the grand prix would help give Thailand international exposure.

He wrote: “In line with the Thai Government’s intention to bring F1 racing to Thailand in the near future, I visited the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari and had a discussion with executives of the Formula One Group.

“This resonates with our policy to place Thailand on the global radar for international events and activities.”

 

Thailand’s bid for a race fits in with a clear focus that F1 now has of establishing a bigger base for the series in Asia.

Domenicali is known to be keen on the idea of the race in Bangkok, having visited Thailand in April for talks with Thavisin.

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What is clear, though, is that the arrival of races like Thailand could well mean that F1 has to lose some of its current events – with the future of Imola in particular being questioned.

Speaking in a Wall Street analysts call recently, Domenicali said there was little desire for F1 to expand the calendar – while he told Italian media recently that there were likely some tough choices to be made soon as Imola’s contract runs out at the end of next year.

“We are seeing a lot of interest from a lot of countries in Formula 1, and this obviously represents an opportunity for development,” he said.

“At the same time, it puts us under an obligation to make choices in terms of the calendar.”

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