Where Would You Like To See A Street Race?

Where Would You Like To See A Street Race?

It is without doubt one of the true spectacles of the Formula One calendar; a real gem out of all the Tilke-tarnished circuits in the championship. However, Monaco is a rare track, a one in a million, if you will. And even then, the place has its problems. But seeing the appeal of bringing Formula One to people’s doorsteps, Ecclestone has been pushing for more street races, Valencia* and Singapore both being welcomed to the championship this past season. And now Paris and Rome want in on the action…

Paris has long been rumoured to be high on Bernie’s wishlist. It is no secret that the diminutive Briton despised Magny Cours, the previous home of the French Grand Prix, and often talk has turned to running the Formula One cars around the Arc de Triomphe and down the Avenue des Champs-ร‰lysรฉes. However, while romantic that may seem, very difficult it would be to organise.

Another potential city looking to grace the Formula One calendar is apparently Italy’s capital city, Rome. Grandprix.com today reported on former Formula 2 driver Maurizio Flammini hoping to boost Italy’s profile by staging a round of the Formula One World Championship on the streets of Rome. Flammini, who won three F2 races in the mid-seventies, now promotes sporting events, namely the FIM World Superbike Championship. However, Flammini believes Rome would be ideal for a street race, despite the fact that Monza is unlikely to be dropped from the calendar given its popularity and historical significance.

So, given that there are many hundreds of fantastic cities dotted around the world, where would you like to see Formula One race? Perhaps in downtown Manhattan, through Times Square and around the financial district of New York City? Or what about a return to Adelaide in Australia, or even the once mentioned London in the UK**? Las Vegas often crops up in comments whenever I mention the US Grand Prix, and Asia is plentiful in newly-redeveloped and vibrant cities.

Where would you like to see a street race?

*Okay, so maybe the 2009 race will not be warmly welcomed.

**Although I think we’re going to have enough trouble trying to organise the Olympics in the next three years!


  • I think the reason that Monaco and Singapore work is because you have waterfront that allows great views of the passing city, so I think cities with waterfronts would work best. New York would be cool with a run down the West Side Highway. London, you could run along the Victoria Embankment, but perhaps Brighton would be a better choice.

    I think Santiago, Chile would be a nice place as well, though going against my waterfront theme, it does have nice views of the mountains, plus the shiny towers of Las Condes.

    Las Vegas certainly has wide enough streets and lots of space to build stands for the fans to watch the action, though personally I think it would be kind of dull. The strip is cool to drive down the first time, but but the 90th lap, I think it would start to get dull.

    P.S. It is spelt Manhattan.

  • perhaps Brighton would be a better choice

    When I included the line about London, Brighton popped into my head as well. Cars running along the promenade and all.

    P.S. It is spelt Manhattan.

    Google caught me out. I typed “manhatten wiki” into Google and it sent me to Manhattan’s wiki entry. Thanks for the prod, I’ll update the post in a moment.

  • I hate street circuits. Overtaking is hard enough without putting artificial restrictions on the track. F1 cars need to be allowed to use their full range of performance so they should be looking to use longer more open tracks not go kart tracks.

    The tracks that fans and drivers love have always been the longest tracks on the calendar. The Nurburgring and the original 8 mile Spa were revered. The current ‘neutered’ version of Spa, the Oesterreichring and Suzuka took over the mantle afterwards. Despite all the glamour of Monaco and the intimacy of street tracks what we really need is longer, open, faster tracks.

    If we have to have yet another street race Long Beach was far better than most and Pau is vastly superior to Monaco. The idea of a race in the centre of Paris is just stupid. You could layout a great track but shutting the city down for that amount of time is a non-starter as it is for any capital city.

  • I’d settle for Montreal being brought back…..

    *contrary to what a lot of people seem to beleive, both Melbourne and Montreal are street circuits run on public roads.

  • but shutting the city down for that amount of time is a non-starter

    True. Monaco is pretty much built around the motor sport events that are held there, and Valencia is held on the docks, so not too much trouble there. Singapore looks to be fairly non-city-centrish, but probably close enough to cause plenty of disruption. But it can be done, just that it’ll be darn expensive.

    Right past my front door would be great!

    Live on a good corner then!? ๐Ÿ™‚ Actually, Jeremy Clarkson is always moaning about Fiestas on his front lawn because of the sharp corner he lives on. Maybe Formula One should visit his neck of the woods.

    both Melbourne and Montreal are street circuits run on public roads.

    Indeed. In fact, the photo at the top is of Albert Park. Although to be fair, the roads used on Ile Notre-Dame are hardly driven on anymore. It’s mostly joggers and roller-skaters!

  • Call me a Homer, but I would love to see a F1 race in the streets in Seattle. To bad I have a better chance dating a Hollywood star than seeing that happening. Anyhow, I gave it a shot with quickmaps. Sorry if it seems a little bit Tilke-ish with the long straights and slow corners.

    LINK: http://quikmaps.com/show/86098

  • I know many of you are keen to see a race in New York, but if you think logistics and planning would be difficult for Paris, you haven’t seen anything until you look at the five boroughs. While there are several possible locations, NYC is busy and congested almost everywhere you look, and shutting down just a few streets for even a few hours can cause a giant mess. I don’t see it happening, and if it did, the event would generate a firestorm of complaints and protests.

    Looking at Vegas, it’s little more than a novel concept. Bernie loves it because it has glitz and glamour, but how good would the racing be? The GP would need to be held in the day (no way Bernie puts on a night race in the early morning hours in Europe) and I think you’d end up with an enhanced version of the parking lot venue from years past, with the same popularity as that or Phoenix had. All in all, it would be Valencia in the desert- great promotion, but what else?

    Personally, I lean toward Steven Roy’s position of disliking street tracks, but if one were to be staged in America it would need to be planned and promoted in the proper fashion. Otherwise, we’d end up with another Phoenix situation (where bird conventions bring out a bigger crowd than the GP) and another black mark for F1 in America.

  • Sorry to take up two seperate posts, but a few final notes…

    – Those of you who support Long Beach have, in my view, the best option for a street race in America. The local population is used to the event and will not create the potential mess of problems that could be encountered with a new street venture. It’s also got good weather and is close to LA and the rest of the west coast.

    – While it is on the complete opposite side of the country from me, I would love to see F1 in Seattle. The city is perhaps the best sports town in America that no one puts on the lists for those things, and it could be a smash hit if worked properly. Dan, I must note that seeing my beloved Yankees play at Safeco Fied- one of America’s top sports venues in my opinion- is something I must do in the next decade or so. Sorry your team is in such disarray at the moment however…..

    – Ollie, I only have GT4, and the Seattle course in the game has the old Kingdome next to the current baseball stadium in Seattle. The Kingdome- perhaps the loudest stadium in NFL history- was demolished several years ago to make way for the current Quest Field NFL stadium, and therefore while it creates a cool retro moment on the game, it dose differ from the real-life layout of the area.

  • As much as I would love a race in Seattle, I really think the GP needs to return to Long Beach. Perfect location, established racing environment, and could really be a moneymaker for F1. It makes so much sense that of course Bernie would never think of it. I would suggest a longer, quicker route then the one that is currently in use. LINK: http://quikmaps.com/show/58946.

    @ Gman: If you are ever in town, let me know I can usually get some good seats and could always use a drinking companion at the Pyramid Ale House across the street. Even if you are a Yankee fan…

  • The problem with Long Beach was that Chris Pook called Bernie’s bluff. Bernie gave him a price and a deadline. Pook said if Bernie didn’t ddrop the price he would do a deal with CART. When Bernie had not reacted by the deadline the CART deal was done and Bernie blew the opportunity of keeping a popular race with a knowledgeable crowd because he didn’t believe Pook would go to CART.

    Of course if you were being critical you would not say he didn’t believe him you would say he didn’t read him right which is a big mistake for a supposedly great deal maker to make with a known quantity. You could understand it if the Chinese or someone he hadn’t dealt with before had been misread but for Bernie to misread Chris Pook who he had been dealing with for years smacks of arrogance and incompetence.

  • Steven- Thanks very much for the one-minute history class! I know the CART race out there was a big hit, and I had gotten various versions of that story before. As we all know, for all of Bernie’s big-time venues and success, he also could put together a list of missed chances and blown possibilities in terms of venues and Grands Prix. We all know the names, so no need to elaborate further…..

    On a related note, I read some reports earlier this season about Pook possibly backing a new plan in California to buld a new circuit near LA to host F1 and other series. He was reported to be at the Italian GP discussing the concept with people- dose anyone have the info on this scheme?

    Dan- I do agree that Long Beach is the best option west of the Mississippi for a GP. While Seattle is a great place, it would take a special promoter to sell the race and make it work. In terms of getting out west, I am currently in grad school and working on starting to build a career, so any trip out there would probably not happen until 2010 at the earliest. But if I am in town, I will give you a yell. The same applies if you are ever at Yankee Stadium- I saw the Mariners play there last season in fact.

  • Maybe we should have a steeple-chase, a run from Vancouver to Seattle? It’s about 250 km. Add a couple turns in for a less direct route and you could get it up to 300 km. That’s a decent length for a race. I’m sure we could have some sort of pre-clearance to allow the drivers to skip customs and immigration. The plan also allows us to have both a Canadian and US Grand Prix at the same time!

    Just joking…

    …sort of.

  • There seem to be stories about Chris Pook promoting a new race every couple of years. I haven’t heard of the one in California.

  • Just as a quick update, mapping out circuits takes a while, but I’m about half way through the follow-up post. Hopefully it’ll be up this week (now that I’ve woken from hibernation). ๐Ÿ™‚

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