Thailand’s potential as a host for a Formula 1 Grand Prix has been a lively topic of interest and speculation in recent months. With the nation’s growing enthusiasm for motorsport, Thailand presents a compelling case for inclusion in the prestigious F1 calendar. Also, hosting an F1 race could significantly boost the country’s economy and bring numerous cultural, and infrastructural benefits aligning with Thailand’s aspirations to become a global sporting hub.

The Grand Prix would serve as a platform to showcase Thai culture to a global audience, with opportunities to integrate cultural performances, traditional food, and local crafts into the event. This international exposure could foster a deeper appreciation of Thailand’s rich heritage, “Soft Power”and attract more cultural tourism. So in April Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin hosted F1 boss Stefano Domenicali to pitch the government’s vision of bringing a grand prix to the streets of Bangkok.

Government spokesman: Chai Watcharong said that if F1 is to be held in the capital then if possible it should take place on Ratchadamnoen around Rattanakosin Island so that the beauty of Rattanakosin Island would be presented globally while the event is held, in line with Srettha’s “Ignite Thailand Tourism” vision.

Last month Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin followed up on this visit by meeting Formula One organisers in Milan and said he hoped the construction of a Formula One racing circuit would start near U-Tapao airport in Rayong province in 3or 4 years. Reinforcing this statement was the fact that Chatchai Phromlert chairman of

PTT Plc and Kavin Kanjanapas president of BTS Group Holdings Plc were also present. The prime minister said he invited both men along as he expected PTT to sponsor the construction of the new circuit and BTS Group Holdings was the concessionaire of the vast compound of U Tapao airport, The prime minister also said his delegation received a positive response from Formula One Group.

The influx of international visitors for the event would stimulate the tourism sector, leading to increased occupancy in hotels, higher patronage of restaurants, and greater spending in local businesses. This economic surge would not be limited to the race weekend alone; the global visibility and media coverage could enhance the area’s reputation as a travel destination. Moreover, the excitement and prestige of F1 could inspire a new generation of Thai motorsport enthusiasts. Increased interest in racing could lead to the development of local talent and the establishment oftraining academies and racing schools nurturing future motorsport professionals.

Mr Srettha said that there could be F1 and F2 events at the track and also events for young racers, also that he believed both the Thai Government and the organisers both want this to happen and that he was confident that there would be good news in a few months. Construction of the circuit would then be scheduled to start in 2027 or 2028 at the latest the prime minister said.

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