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Potential Formula 1 Track Near U-Tapao Airport Envisioned by Prime Minister

Potential Formula 1 Track Near U-Tapao Airport Envisioned by Prime Minister

During a meeting with Formula One organizers in Italy, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin expressed his aspirations for the establishment of a Formula One racing circuit near U-Tapao Airport in Rayong province within the next three to four years.

The Prime Minister engaged in discussions with executives from the Formula One Group in Milan on Sunday afternoon local time, emphasizing the importance of hosting international sporting events in Thailand to promote tourism. He expressed the government’s interest in having Thailand become a venue for the prestigious Formula One World Championship.

Accompanying the Prime Minister in the meeting were Chatchai Phromlert, the chairman of PTT Plc, and Kavin Kanjanapas, the president of BTS Group Holdings Plc. Mr. Srettha extended invitations to both individuals, anticipating that PTT would provide sponsorship for the new circuit’s construction, while BTS Group Holdings managed the sprawling U-Tapao airport complex. The Prime Minister indicated that the delegation received a favorable response from the Formula One Group, fostering optimism for progress in the coming months.

Mr. Srettha mentioned the potential for hosting both Formula One and Formula Two events at the track, along with competitions for emerging racers. While specific details require further deliberation, the government aims to commence construction of the circuit no later than 2027 or 2028, according to the Prime Minister.

During his visit to Italy, Prime Minister Srettha also toured the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari Formula One circuit in Imola, east of Bologna, gathering insights into the operations of such facilities.

Regarding revenue projections from the Formula One endeavor, Mr. Srettha indicated that while a formal evaluation had not been conducted, VIP tickets for the races could fetch between 5,000 and 8,000 US dollars per person. Additional income streams would stem from sponsorships, food sales at the event, and enhanced tourism opportunities.

In his prior discussions with Formula One Group’s CEO Stefano Domenicali during the company’s visit to Thailand, the Prime Minister explored the feasibility of hosting a Formula One race in the country, receiving positive indications of potential collaboration from the CEO.

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