Where in the world should F1 race? This topic has been discussed throughout the F1 world and beyond and for all the wrong reasons with the rescheduling of the Bahrain Grand Prix on 30th October. The world-wide disapproval has been staggering due to the ongoing struggle for democracy by the country’s population.
The hole that F1, FIA, WMSC find themselves in has been coming for the last eight years when the lure of money was greater than the fans of the sport. Money talks that loudly that France, the birth place of Grand Prix racing hasn’t hosted a race since 2008. That was ironically one year short of the centenary of the first Grand Prix. This historic race was run at Le Mans on June 26th 1906 and won by Hungarian racer Ferenc Szisz. It seems that history and tradition count for very little these days when oil rich nations or countries that see hosting a race as a status symbol flaunt a blank cheque Bernie’s way. As a consequence we see a constant battle to try to keep beloved venues/countries on the race calendar, Interlagos, Silverstone, Spa, Suzuka and Montreal have consistently been in the firing line as they struggle to keep pace with the massive excesses shown at the new ‘fly away’ venues.
Don’t get me wrong I’m not against all new countries coming into our sport, some have had a very positive effect on the sport like Malaysia. Malaysia has been on the calendar since 1999 and has gone from strength to strength thanks in part to great local support for the event. The same can’t be said for China and Turkey which stand out for the empty grandstands during race weekends . With less the ten percent of the worlds countries hosting a race surely it can’t be that hard to go to countries that have enough interest and where the local population can afford to attend the race! In China they give seats away to the military to give the illusion of a crowd to the viewing public. One of the stand out memories for me from this years Turkish race was the great action through turns 12/13/14 at the end of the lap. Sadly that the grandstand at turn 12 was empty! In fact you’d have been hard pressed to see the crowd anywhere apart from on the pit straight or turn 8.
I’m sure that the F1 fans in France must see this and wonder why in the world don’t we have a race? Mexico is another country I’d like to see back on the calendar. With the emergence of Sergio Perez this year F1 has never been as popular, coupled with backing of the worlds richest man (Carlos Slim) there could be hope for a race in the future with continued rumours on a new venue close to Cancun.
You can still vote in this weeks pole where I asked do you think it’s right to race in Bahrain this year? https://marshallgp.wordpress.com/#pd_a_5109994