FORMULA 1 is a well-followed global sport. With races set in beautiful locations stretching across the world, fans tune in to see the top drivers do battle at testing race tracks. The last few years have resulted in British driver Lewis Hamilton taking home the crown.
Silverstone is the most famous track in England, first hosting a Grand Prix in 1950. Despite other locations such as Brands Hatch and Aintree being used at times, Silverstone has been used consistently as host of the British Grand Prix since 1987.
Hosting a FORMULA 1 race is not cheap. Some countries, such as South Korea, have tried and failed to capitalise on the interest in racing in their region. They only hosted races for four years before they understood the true financial cost of hosting F1.
There is a fee charged for a race track being host to F1 and for some, this fee makes the holding of the race impossible. But FORMULA 1 races on, always on the search for new places to compete at and also broaden the advertisement and appeal of the sport.
The country of Vietnam was rather cruelly denied its chance to host its first-ever Grand Prix last year. Talks had been taking place to hold the race in April 2020, joining Japan, Singapore, and China on the list of Eastern Asian locations of F1 racing. Even the title sponsor had been decided for the inaugural Grand Prix.
The race was to be held in the capital, Hanoi. Not having a purpose-built race track, it was to be developed as F1s fourth street race, following in the footsteps of Azerbaijan, Singapore, and Monaco.
Yet, the onset of the deadly Coronavirus, which swept across the world, put an end to the dreams of 2020. Vietnam closed its borders. Originally controlling the virus quite well, it was hoped the race date could be changed and be held in November, but as the pandemic continued the race was cancelled. There has been no mention if the race will take place this year, and it has proven to be a big disappointment for the fans and sponsors.
Along with Hong Kong, Macau has the status of being a Special Administrative Region of the massive nation of China. It has a high population density and is a very popular tourist destination. Casinos, card games, and slots are very much associated with Macau, resulting in revenue far superior to the powerhouse that is Las Vegas.
However, while Macau has not yet hosted an F1 race, it has a lot of history with hosting motor racing events.
Hosting street races annually, there are competitions for both bikes and cars. The highlight of this being Formula 3 car racing. Many former or current Formula 1 drivers have taken part in this event, usually at the start of their careers and some have claimed the top spot.
Many people feel that if Formula 1 races can be held at tracks like Monaco, Macau could be considered as a possible host venue.
As the country with the second-highest population in the world, India has seen a huge rise in interest in Formula 1 racing. Previously having held Grand Prix races in the years 2011 to 2013, problems surfaced with the hosting of such events due to taxation issues and disagreements between
The FIA and the local government of the state the track is located in, Uttar Pradesh. At the time of writing, these difficulties had still not been resolved. Let’s hope India doesn’t miss out on this awesome event.
The country has a purpose-built race track, the Buddh International Circuit, so hopes are high it will see the return of F1 racing. India has only ever had two professional F1 drivers and it is a highly difficult challenge for Indians to get to this level. Yet, with the number of fans and viewers in the country, it would be unfortunate for F1 to ignore this colossal market. The potential here is huge.
It is the world’s largest landlocked country, has a growing economy, and shares borders with five countries including superpowers Russia and China. Despite investment in traditional and online kaszinó, hotels, resorts, and other visitor attractions, tourism has yet to take off but F1 could help with this.
While motorsport racing is not huge here, they can only look on in envy at the international attention garnered by nearby Azerbaijan with the hosting of Formula 1 races that take place on the streets of their capital, Baku.
While not having an F1 circuit, the money is certainly available to build one. With F1’s interest in expanding globally and entering new markets, the lure of Kazakhstan looms large. Stunning scenery and more options flight-wise make it an interesting place to consider putting on the F1 map.
Having a global sport like F1 taking place in such an obscure location can ensure millions would be tuning in to check it out. Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, is surprisingly modern and the glamor of hosting F1 could really boost its standing.
As Formula 1’s popularity continues to grow year on year, you may see more emerging nations such as this throwing their hat in the F1 ring.
Formula 1 has seen some changes to the locations of races over the years. While some familiar tracks are looked forward to each year, by both spectators and indeed drivers themselves, it’s nice to see some places making a comeback or indeed managing to get on the racing calendar for the first time.
The boost to the local economy can be huge and images of the track and surrounding areas are beamed across the world. As there have only ever been 32 countries to host a Grand Prix, it’s a real honour to get on that list.
The places mentioned above may very well host a Grand Prix in the future, with Vietnam looking the most likely. But, F1’s global appeal can always see some new or old contenders shaping up to get involved.
While viewers love to see the street racing in Monaco for example and the glamour of the yachts and the city itself, new venues and places hold a special interest for the fans. F1 never fails to put a big show on, no matter where it goes.