Formula 1 Looking To Add More Asian Street Races In Near Future, Bratches Says
Formula 1 is "looking to add more Asian street races to its calendar in the near future," F1 Managing Dir, Commercial Operations Sean Bratches said, according to Pablo Elizalde of MOTORSPORT. Singapore currently hosts the only street race in Asia, having joined the calendar in '08, and "it has proved popular with both fans and teams." Bratches said that F1 is "keen" on introducing more street races in "iconic cities" to increase the sport's fanbase. Bratches, however, did not specify "which cities they were looking at." He said, "I'm spending a lot of time reaching out proactively to cities ... and think ultimately we will realize more street races than we have seen historically. We will go to iconic cities where there are large fan bases, particularly new fanbases that we can activate." He also said that, "despite doubts about its future, China was set to secure another contract to continue hosting a grand prix." Bratches added, "We've been working hard with Juss Event, the promoter, and we've got an agreement in principle. My suspicion is that it will be executed by the end of next month, fully executed" (MOTORSPORT, 8/23). The AFP's Peter Stebbings reported Bratches said, "From a fan standpoint, the backdrops of these city centers ... can really make compelling television and pictures." Asked if that meant more street circuits in Asia, he said, "Yes, two." In the last five years, the Indian and Korean grands prix have "fallen off the race calendar," while Malaysia has announced that this year's race will be the last "due to rising costs and low returns" (AFP, 8/22).