Bangkok street race scrapped; Phuket possible replacement?

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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.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”