Skip to main content

F1 News: FIA President to Visit Potential Asia Races in Pursuit of Sport Expansion

Formula 1's footprint in Asia may soon expand as FIA President Stefano Domenicali prepares to visit Thailand and possibly other Asian nations. His travel aims to assess new venues for the racing calendar as they look to double down on the success the sport is currently seeing.

With the recent successful return of the Chinese Grand Prix to the F1 calendar after a five-year pause, the stage is set for further expansion in Asia. FIA President Stefano Domenicali's upcoming visit to Thailand on April 23 symbolizes a significant step towards actualizing this vision.

The revival of the Chinese Grand Prix reflects Asia's growing interest in Formula 1, setting a precedent for hosting more Grands Prix in the region. Building on this momentum, Domenicali's itinerary includes discussions with Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, exploring the prospects of introducing a Grand Prix in Thailand. Initial talks with the Thai government took place in March in France, crafting the framework for this upcoming meeting.

The preference for a street circuit in Thailand highlights the local desires to blend the race into the city's vibrant scape—a model seen in other global cities that successfully integrates F1 into their urban texture. Chai Watcharong, a Thai government spokesperson, emphasized this vision.

"If Formula 1 comes to Thailand, we basically want a street circuit. Preferably on Ratchadamnoen Road, near Rattanakosin Island," they said, as quoted by Thai medium Than Setthakit.

Thailand's ambition aligns with FOM's strategy to diversify the race locations by incorporating circuits that not only challenge the drivers but also engage local cultures and economies. Moreover, discussions during Domenicali's visit aren't confined to Formula 1 alone; the inclusion of Formula E into the Thai motorsport landscape is also on the agenda, signaling a broader embrace of motorsports.

Meanwhile, interest from South Korea in reinstating its Grand Prix—previously held at the Korea International Circuit until 2013—solidifies the Asian enthusiasm for F1. The region's keenness to participate in the F1 calendar could profoundly impact the sport's global dynamic and viewership.

Stefano Domenicali's role as the President of FOM is pivotal in these expansion efforts. By visiting potential new venues and engaging with governmental authorities, he is laying the groundwork for what could be a significant reshaping of the Formula 1 annual calendar. His travels, effectively diplomatic missions, are crucial in negotiating and sealing deals that align with F1's strategic interests—and Asia's rising profile on the F1 map underscores the continent's critical role in the sport's future.