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Russian GP on the cards?


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#1 Chiara

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 14:41

Bernie Ecclestone is apparantly on his way like a rocket to Russia to discuss the possibly of them holding a round of the F1 championship in St. Petersburg.

http://www.pitpass.c...es_art_id=33887

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#2 F1Champion

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 15:05

Very interesting move. Probably lots of support by the government for the GP, a city race would be even more exciting. Like Pitpass always say....follow the money.

(A little OT - But given the contribution of Finnish drivers to motorsport and F1 why haven't they held a GP yet?)

#3 For:Sure

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 15:16

Why would little Russia deserve a GP when the mighty Spain are clearly entitled to two? ;)

#4 Modern Lover

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 16:01

St petersburg? this surely is a joke. if you walk 100m in any direction off nevsky prospect its like going 80 years back in time. there surely are better alternatives for a new venue?
this highest bidder takes the gp/over the board sponsor exposure manifest is getting on my nerves. how about a second american gp, a mexican, north african, scandinavian, a second japanese, or bringing back imola, anything but a russian!

#5 Thanatos

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 16:15

I thought there was going to be one in Moscow a few years back? - Wasn't Tom Walkinshaw (or Dave Richard's?) involved in the construction - wasn't it (construction) even underway?

#6 Atreiu

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 16:16

What's the name of the sheik who lived on an oil platform and wanted to make it his own country? I bet Bernie would give him a race if he paid enough.




Honestly, I really don't care in what country the races happen, it's all the same from the couch in front of the TV. I just hope it's a decent track that allows good racing.

#7 undersquare

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 16:17

Originally posted by Thanatos
I thought there was going to be one in Moscow a few years back? - Wasn't Tom Walkinshaw (or Dave Richard's?) involved in the construction - wasn't it (construction) even underway?


I seem to remember the Russian Maffia took an interest and everyone very sensibly ran the other way :lol: .

#8 jokuvaan

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 16:17

Politically I dont like it at all, otherwise proximity to Finland is good, but in the end it should be a new track, not a city track.

#9 Chiara

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 13:13

Portugal is hoping to return to the F1 calendar as well....

http://www.pitpass.c...es_art_id=33890

#10 wj_gibson

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 13:44

I believe they are talking about some sort of revival of this:

http://www.etrackson...ulkovoring.html

No doubt the track layout would be greatly modified to fit in more with Tilke's demands - i.e. >3 miles in length and several corner "complexes" within the one circuit.

#11 AMG1

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 13:54

Originally posted by Thanatos
I thought there was going to be one in Moscow a few years back? - Wasn't Tom Walkinshaw (or Dave Richard's?) involved in the construction - wasn't it (construction) even underway?



It was.
I live in Moscow and i can say government and officials in general here are very corrupted. They demanded like 3 or 5 times more of average cost of GP.
I don't think Bernie will succeed this time too...
The problem is no one (of officials responsible for such events) wants to have GP here, they just want to make extra cash. This is how EVERYTHING is done here in Russia. Prices are artificially risen so they could put what is left in their pocket.

#12 aren_t

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 14:14

Originally posted by For:Sure
Why would little Russia deserve a GP when the mighty Spain are clearly entitled to two? ;)

Little Russia? What do you mean?

#13 Group B

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 14:18

Originally posted by aren_t

Little Russia? What do you mean?

I think you'll find he's taking a shot at Spain over the LH abuse furore; it's nothing personal against Russia.

#14 noikeee

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 14:24

Originally posted by Chiara
Portugal is hoping to return to the F1 calendar as well....

http://www.pitpass.c...es_art_id=33890


Yeah, and it's a bit of an original way to about this - build the circuit first, schedule all sorts of minor competitions, and only then think about F1. I'm not sure how in hell they're planning to get profit from such a massive investment, but let's wait and see. It's a private investment so if it fails it's not going out of our (common citizen's) pockets. F1 could possibly be financed by the government though, I guess?

Originally posted by wj_gibson
I believe they are talking about some sort of revival of this:

http://www.etrackson...ulkovoring.html

No doubt the track layout would be greatly modified to fit in more with Tilke's demands - i.e. >3 miles in length and several corner "complexes" within the one circuit.


Honestly, given that picture the track layout looks really, really dull. I doubt even Tilke could make it worse.

#15 aren_t

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 14:53

Originally posted by Group B

...it's nothing personal against Russia.

Hope you're right.

#16 Josta

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 14:58

Originally posted by wj_gibson
I believe they are talking about some sort of revival of this:

http://www.etrackson...ulkovoring.html

No doubt the track layout would be greatly modified to fit in more with Tilke's demands - i.e. >3 miles in length and several corner "complexes" within the one circuit.


Hmm, the pulloverring. Given the weather in St Petersburg, I think you would need a lot more than a pullover. :)

#17 VoidNT

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 15:00

Originally posted by AMG1
I live in Moscow and i can say government and officials in general here are very corrupted. They demanded like 3 or 5 times more of average cost of GP.
I don't think Bernie will succeed this time too...
The problem is no one (of officials responsible for such events) wants to have GP here, they just want to make extra cash. This is how EVERYTHING is done here in Russia.


So true.

Tom Walkinshaw's project died when Moscow government understood that they need to spend $100-200 mln of their own money and the investment won't be repaid as quickly as 3 or so years. Nobody is interested in building or creating something, nobody wants to invest money here, they just want to convince others to give their money and then put the other's money into their own pocket. Almost the same story happened to Midland. Business as usual: a lot of noise, a lot of plans and PR but nothing is getting done in reality.

The project today could only be possible if Putin or a new president would say "I want it!". Then Gazprom could fund the project (the company already has a debt of $30bln, why not to loan $300 mln more?), corrupt officials would be happy and probably Grand Prix would emerge. But in any case, I'm afraid it would end up in some kind of embarrassment for Russia, financial-wise or organizational-wise.

#18 For:Sure

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 16:35

Originally posted by aren_t

Little Russia? What do you mean?

It was (admittedly weak) irony. I was really questioning why a (relatively) small country like Spain has 2 races, whilst the world's largest country has no race.

Well, we know Spain have 2 races on the back of Alonso's success, but I do not believe this is a very fair or equitable way to distribute races. Sure, good to have it in countries with more of an interest in the sport, but considering Spain has (largely) only recently been 'converted' to F1 (pretty much a minority sport before Alonso mania) it seems pretty much unjustifiable to my mind why they should have 2 races.

Nothing against Russia whatsoever - in fact it was quite the opposite.
And my criticism of Spain having 2 races is NOTHING to do with the race row; just that they are a relatively small, relatively (until recently,) non-F1 interested country.

It's all about Bernie's wallet...

#19 aren_t

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 17:51

Originally posted by For:Sure

It was (admittedly weak) irony. I was really questioning why a (relatively) small country like Spain has 2 races, whilst the world's largest country has no race.

By the way, Formula1 isn't even included in official list of sports competitions in Russia, what a shame :(

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#20 Josta

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 18:19

Originally posted by For:Sure

It was (admittedly weak) irony. I was really questioning why a (relatively) small country like Spain has 2 races, whilst the world's largest country has no race.

Well, we know Spain have 2 races on the back of Alonso's success, but I do not believe this is a very fair or equitable way to distribute races. Sure, good to have it in countries with more of an interest in the sport, but considering Spain has (largely) only recently been 'converted' to F1 (pretty much a minority sport before Alonso mania) it seems pretty much unjustifiable to my mind why they should have 2 races.

Nothing against Russia whatsoever - in fact it was quite the opposite.
And my criticism of Spain having 2 races is NOTHING to do with the race row; just that they are a relatively small, relatively (until recently,) non-F1 interested country.

It's all about Bernie's wallet...


Size of country doesn't matter. The fact is that Spain does (currently) hold far more F1 fans than Russia. Why did Italy and Germany have 2 races till last year? Schumacher mania dictated Germany, and the Tiffosi dictated Italy.

Or at least, it would be nice to think along those lines. The stark reality is actually that Schumacher mania, and Tifossi mania prompted people in these countries to cough up large amounts of cash to Bernie. Just as has happened now in Spain.

If Russia is willing to empty their pockets to Bernie, a Russian GP will go ahead. In fact I am fairly possitive that if the government of Iraq was willing to donate large quantities of rebuilding cash towards building a race track, Bernie would be on the next plane to Baghdad.

#21 ClubmanGT

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 21:08

This must be the third Russian GP rumour set I've heard in three years, at least - one through the Red Square, one on Nagatino, and now St Petersburg.

#22 Imperial

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 21:30

Clubman GT is right, this is definitely a case of here we go again.

Russia's best chance of hosting a GP was probably when Alex Schnaider owned Midland (i.e. in the way that Vijay Mallya now owns the team and the talk of an Indian GP is back on the cards).

Besides the obvious team-interest side, which is gone as stated above. Russia has also changed since the days when a Russian GP was first mooted.

The country has become more insular and has put up a great deal of metaphorical barriers. Let's not forget that British Diplomats remain expelled from Russia due to relations with Britain becoming as strained as they were in the 1990's. I don't mean this in a way to suggest the British Empire was a good thing or that still "Brittania rules the waves" (which it clearly doesn't anymore) but something tells me that while Britain is refused a political presence in Russia I can't see them being given a GP.

I know the FIA is supposed to be apolitical, but this is the real world...

#23 k1ngy

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 21:44

Originally posted by Josta


Size of country doesn't matter. The fact is that Spain does (currently) hold far more F1 fans than Russia. Why did Italy and Germany have 2 races till last year? Schumacher mania dictated Germany, and the Tiffosi dictated Italy.

Or at least, it would be nice to think along those lines. The stark reality is actually that Schumacher mania, and Tifossi mania prompted people in these countries to cough up large amounts of cash to Bernie. Just as has happened now in Spain.

If Russia is willing to empty their pockets to Bernie, a Russian GP will go ahead. In fact I am fairly possitive that if the government of Iraq was willing to donate large quantities of rebuilding cash towards building a race track, Bernie would be on the next plane to Baghdad.


So if this way of thinking is true does that mean that Brands Hatch will be holding the European Grand Prix once Hamilton Mania reaches dizzy heights with a WDC under his helmet?

#24 Dunc

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 21:44

Would anyone else like to see the return of the South African GP. 2010 would seem an apt year with them hosting the World Cup.

#25 Imperial

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 21:55

Originally posted by Dunc
Would anyone else like to see the return of the South African GP. 2010 would seem an apt year with them hosting the World Cup.


I remember at the Autosport show in about 2001 or 2002 when David Coulthard was on stage and they were going round the audience with a microphone to ask questions, some woman asked if he would like to see a return to South Africa on the calendar.

DC absolutely went to town on this woman saying he couldn't understand why people are always harping on about taking a GP back there.

So don't ask him !

#26 Josta

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 21:56

Originally posted by k1ngy


So if this way of thinking is true does that mean that Brands Hatch will be holding the European Grand Prix once Hamilton Mania reaches dizzy heights with a WDC under his helmet?


Only if the British, (or British companies), are willing to part with large wads of cash to Bernie. If the local government at Brands Hatch decide that bringing a local hero to the locality is worth spending millions of pounds per year, then yes, it will host a GP.

#27 Zmeej

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 21:58

aren_t :wave:

Little Russia? What do you mean?

He didn't mean Ukraine.;)

Didn't manage to get this dig in the last time it came up (Thanatos is right, it did), so here goes:

The press should monitor excavations for the new site closely, when and/or if they get underway, because they're sure to come upon the bones of those executed under Stalin, as well as the bones of those who died building the place for the founding murderer.

IMO, there should be one in Poland first - give Kubica a home race! :clap:

#28 k1ngy

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 22:02

Originally posted by Josta


Only if the British, (or British companies), are willing to part with large wads of cash to Bernie. If the local government at Brands Hatch decide that bringing a local hero to the locality is worth spending millions of pounds per year, then yes, it will host a GP.

Not likely then considering the hassle Silverstone are having just keping hold of the British Grand Prix!!!!

#29 Nitropower

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 22:09

Originally posted by For:Sure
Why would little Russia deserve a GP when the mighty Spain are clearly entitled to two? ;)


Curious that you remember Spain and not France (Monaco, Magny Cours), Germany (Hockenheim, Nurburg recently), Italy (Monza, San Marino recently).

#30 Josta

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 22:46

Originally posted by k1ngy

Not likely then considering the hassle Silverstone are having just keping hold of the British Grand Prix!!!!


Absolutely. Bernie isn't getting enough from Silverstone to make his pockets fatter. In Spain, Valencia offered absurd levels of cash to Bernie to secure a GP because of the current Alonso Mania. They know that this will bring large amounts of cash to their region, so did so.

In the UK, even olympic investment gets critisized by the locals, so no amount of mania really has such a sway. Silverstone could secure an indefinite future in GP if they pay rediculous amounts of cash to Bernie. The problem is that Silverstone is not subsidised by the government, so pays Bernie a reasonable amount, as opposed to an unreasonable amount given by the likes of Bahrain.

The basic problem is the fact that Bernie is prepared to drop anywhere, and go anywhere according to cash payments. At the moment, Valencia feels that its investment will bring dividends, given the levels of Alonso mania. Just as the German and Italian tracks felt at the time. When Alonso mania subsides, so will the will of Valencia, (just as the will of the 2 German tracks subsided post Schumacher).

There is a natural ebb and flow about this.

#31 k1ngy

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 23:05

I agree and dont believe there will be a russian GP because of this. There at the moment are no russian F1 drivers or for the feeders series that i can find (correct me if im wrong) Plus it is so cold!
As has been said the Schumacher buzz was the reason for the 2 German GP's and obviously it is this buzz that Bernie feeds on to convince the countries to hold them. I cannot understand why the british government struggle so much with helping Silverstone achieve the kind of standards as seen in some of the newer tracks. I bet if BE offered Mr Brown some revenue from the fuel it would be the spangliest track you have ever seen :mad:

#32 Rob29

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 08:52

If the number of fans counted,then Britain should have more than 2 races.There has always been a leading UK driver- since the 50s anyway,and we have provided more world champions than any other nation -12.We used to have up to 6 races supported by said drivers,Moss,Clark,Hill,etc.

#33 For:Sure

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 10:04

Originally posted by Nitropower


Curious that you remember Spain and not France (Monaco, Magny Cours), Germany (Hockenheim, Nurburg recently), Italy (Monza, San Marino recently).

Of course I can "remember" the others....are you really that sensitive? Do you really require that every multi-race (in F1 terms!) nation is listed, rather than just one example? Man, move on and lighten up! ;)