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Bangkok street race scrapped; Phuket possible replacement?

Jun 16, 2013, 9:00 AM EDT

European Red Bull Launches in Thailand Getty Images

Phuket could be in line to host the first grand prix in Thailand after it was confirmed that Bangkok will not be able to welcome Formula One in 2015.

Bernie Ecclestone has been a big advocate for taking Formula One to Thailand, but a proposed route around the streets of Bangkok met widespread criticism due to its lack of challenging corners or characteristics. Instead, Thailand’s sports’ minister Somask Pureesrisrak has revealed to the Bangkok Post that efforts are being made to take F1 to Phuket.

“I can confirm that we cannot hold a grand prix on Ratchadamnoen Avenue [in Bangkok],” the sports’ minister explained. “The law, which took effect last month, prohibits a car racing event in inner Bangkok.

“Phuket should be an ideal venue which meets our target to promote tourism. We still have time to prepare for the race.”

Therefore, Formula One could be set to welcome a 22nd race onto the calendar in 2015, although it is likely that the teams will push to reduce this number to 20 in order to give their personnel time to rest between races and in the off-season.

2014 is already poised to become the busiest season yet, with almost 30 F1 events planned (21 races, 4 pre-season tests, 4 in-season tests), and the addition of the Thailand GP will only add to this congestion.

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