Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Singapore, 2010

Red Bull Hong Kong demo to “gain support” for F1 bid

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Hong Kong gets a taste of F1 courtesy of Red Bull.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

F1 car in town raises hope for HK Grand Prix (South China Morning Post)

Hong Kong Automobile Association president Wesley Wan: “This is the first step in gaining the support of the people. We want to raise the exposure of Formula One by staging this live show, and I hope it will lead to Hong Kong hosting a Grand Prix race one day.”

Crash-happy Lewis Hamilton is still Formula One’s biggest draw (The Guardian)

“Hamilton, not surprisingly, has been unable to maintain his remarkable trajectory. Now his third successive season will end in disappointment. But even when he is not winning, Lewis Hamilton remains Formula One’s top box office attraction.”

Rare F1 car to return after 50 years (Pitpass)

Scarab to appear at Silverstone Classic.

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Neil raves about one of the new vantage points at Silverstone:

I went to the GT1 World Championship at Silverstone a couple of weeks ago. I sat in many of the grandstands (most were open to all) and I am now VERY glad that I went for Village B for Formula 1.

The view from the grandstand is incredible ?ǣ you can see the cars as the come around Village, all the way through the new twisty part and then off down Wellington straight. You then get to see them as they approach Maggots/Becketts and then again as they get to the end of the Hangar Straight and around Stowe corner.

Definitely advise anyone going to this grandstand takes a pair of binoculars. There?s so much opportunity to see things in the distance that you?d really be missing out if you didn?t.

Here is a video of the view:


Are you going to the 2011 British Grand Prix? Join the discussion here:

From the forum

One of those great “what if” questions: Would Honda have won in 2009?

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Titch!

On this day in F1

The Detroit street circuit held the United States Grand Prix for the last time on this day in 1988. Like Long Beach before it, the city switched to IndyCar racing after F1 left.

Ayrton Senna won the last race at the track.

Here’s the build-up to and start of the race from American television, featuring an onboard lap of the track complete with marvellous eighties graphics:

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

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  • 72 comments on “Red Bull Hong Kong demo to “gain support” for F1 bid”

    1. That Detroit track is a gem! Although the 3-4 second long section in the pitch black tunnel wouldn’t survive today’s safety regs!!

      1. No, certainly not! Just watched that. At least in the Monaco tunnel you get a bit of natural light.

      2. HA! America’s Monte Carlo! Funniest thing I’ve heard all year.

        1. Though on second thought, I was at this race. I was 4 and only remember the noise and heat, but I was there.

        2. I was thinking the same thing. Detroit is ah… not really considered anything like Monte Carlo over here X)

    2. From Sunday Times: “BBC axes F1”:

      1. Says the Sunday Times, who in no way are going to run a massive campaign of FUD with the amazing coincidental result of Sky Sports picking up the broadcast rights for a lesser fee once the only alternative UK rights bidder has been scared off the pitch.

        As the saying goes, “Who profits?”

        1. Yeah blame Murdoch, as if he is involved in this crude and obvious piece of BBC politicking and leaking.

          By setting F1 against BBC4, the default TV channel of the Radio3 chattering class, a channel representing the metropolitan and home counties dictionary definition exemplar of “exactly the sort of thing the BBC should be doing”, they seal its fate … either see F1 discontinued, which wouldn’t necessarily upset much of BBC management who despise it, or see it reprieved by some civil service smudging of the numbers and more money sloppily funnelled into a sprawling and overgrown state broadcaster by a BBC4 watching political class.

          If they were instead to square it off against BBC3, an attempt to expensively poach some ITV face, and any utterly redundant BBC1 Saturday-night talent-show, all products more than adequately serviced elsewhere in the commercial sector, the decision would go the other way.

          BBC1 has a budget of 1.2billion quid, that’s just BBC1, and that’s billion with a b, if the corporation possessed any creativity and any proper sense of financial responsibility, it would easily find methods and means to maintain both products, reduce waste and self-serving bloat, and not attempt to insult our intelligence with this kind of cynical and politically-calculated false dichotomy of a stitch-up.

      2. It would be a big mistake.

        The highest-ever viewing figures for BBC4 was a mere 1.6 million. F1 easily manages that.

        1. Michael Griffin
          19th June 2011, 0:40

          Funny though that BBC keep axing stuff to “save money” but the license fee stays the same…

          Why axe a sport which regularly pulls in the viewers? I’d rather see BBC4 axed as Icthyes mentioned (sort of) than see F1 leave the BBC.

          If it does leave the BBC, we’ll either be lumped with ITV again, paying for Sky coverage, or getting horrible coverage on Channel 4 with Davina McCall saying “You are live on the grid! Please don’t swear!”


        2. F1 is only shown for 5 hours a weekend over 19 weekends. BBC4 is on every night. But comparing the F1 coverage to an entire channel is difficult. Perhaps a better way of considering it would be whether F1 is more important than other sports.

          I’d guess F1 is more capable of getting consistently high viewing figures in the UK than any other sport, except football. But, F1 costs way more to cover than any other sport too. For the money they spend on F1 every year, I bet they could cover a number of popular smaller sports instead, for a higher cumulative total of viewers

          1. Michael Griffin
            19th June 2011, 1:00

            And if Bernie didn’t demand such incredible amounts of money, that would help a bit too.

            1. Absolutely. I imagine the fees he charges contributes the majority of the cost- in fact, does anyone know the figure the BBC pay?- though judging by some of their overblown features and editing, they could easily cut costs in other areas too

          2. Then tell-tale bit is that they’re doing it to save Wimbledon. You know, the bloated mess that gets in the way even of F1 coverage.

            Axe BBC4, stick its biopics onto BBC2 which is in sore need of quality programming, then everyone’s happy.

          3. More than that:

            P1- 95 mins
            P2- 95 mins
            P3- 65 mins
            Quali – ~120 mins (inc pre quali show)
            Race – 190 mins (inc pre race show)
            Forum – 60 mins
            BBC3 Highlights – 60 mins
            Full race + post race rerun, for early GPs – 190 mins

            So that is nearly 11.5 hours of BBC F1 programming, and over 14.5 hours for the early morning races involving the 1pm replay.

      3. There’s no smoke without fire. I’m going to stick my neck out and say that it’s true.

        I mean, it shouldn’t really be a surprise. The BBC already throws millions of pounds at F1, and presumably Ecclestone will be cranking up the fees in the next few years. The viewing figures don’t really justify such huge spending.

        Obviously, I say that from the perspective of John Smith, a man aged somewhere between 18 and 50, who spends an extorionate amount of money for his TV license but has no interest in F1. Obviously, as an F1 fan I’ll be gutted if it ends up on Sky, but I can see exactly why the BBC might want to give it up

        1. They would be doing me a favour. F1 is the only thing I watch on live TV and since on-demand doesn’t require a licence fee, I can get that out of the way. And if it goes to Sky, I just won’t bother following it anymore.

          1. So you’re telling me that you’ve bothered to register on an F1 website, comment on a random story, but if F1 moved channels you’d stop watching? Ha. Next joke!

            1. Yeh, because I registered on a FREE website I would automatically PAY EXTRA to watch.

              I am one of the most regular posters here, I did not comment on a random story.

              Seriously, what motivates posts like these?

            2. Something to do with the people that say they’re going to stop watching whenever something they vaguely dislike happens Icthyes. Not saying it’s the same in this case, more the boy that cried wolf syndrome.

      4. And on the subject of lazy Print journalism standards, that Guardian piece already states its business in the headline “Crash Happy”.

        If there’s one thing that’s been perfectly obvious to any observer it’s that Lewis has been anything BUT happy with the crashes.

        Heaven forfend we let that get in the way of a good headline and some pointless getting the boot in, however. And as for the article, I’d hate to have to count the number of factual inaccuracies in the first two paragraphs alone.

        And people ask me why I don’t read newspapers or watch the news on TV.

        1. That’s a bit pedantic. It may be an unusually tabloid-esque headline, but since when have us sensible F1 fans judged an article by its heading??

          If we did that, we might have once opened a newspaper expecting to see a photo of Pedro Diniz being cooked, only to see him sat in a burning car instead

        2. Lewis might not have been happy with the crashes but the implication there is that the big draw is the crashes, ergo the viewers are Crash Happy.

      5. £2.20 for the Sunday Times and they are the ones spouting on about value for money. Go figure.

    3. Chris Economaki? Really? You can’t beat Americans for mental names, I say. Brilliantly inventive.

      What’s amusing is that when you watch the 2008 spec McLaren at Watkins Glen the other day, those 80’s F1 cars look about as sophisticated as the NASCAR. Let’s face it, they probably were! Lewis’s car looks like an alien spaceship in comparison.

      1. it’s a greek name. he is among motorsports’ greatest ambassadors.

        1. He’s a legend in American coverage of racing (all types) in both print and broadcasting, much like Murray is for British F1 coverage.

          He’s apparently still alive, too (born 1920):

        2. What he said. Of course, we do have exceedingly mental names, which is what’s so great about us :P

    4. I always liked the look of that Village Arena Grandstand. I would certainly be buying Silverstone tickets for if I could spend my Uni loans on that sort of thing!

      Alternative Village Grandstand vid: Just wish the roof didn’t need those view obstructing pillars.

      1. I sat at the Village grandstand for this year’s GT1 too, definately the best place to view the action from. As Neil says, you get to se the cars for a lot of the lap.

        I sat there last year as well. Here’s my video from the first lap of the F3 race:

      2. To be honest Silverstone has loads of great seating places. Luffield, Village and Becketts are my favourites, but I had a great view of the GT3’s at Club.

    5. Dear RedBull Racing,
      A new Museum of Transport is opening in Glasgow on the 21st June 2011. However there will be no F1 cars on exhibit. Is there any chance you would be willing to send up one of your old cars to put on display? It would increase your brand exposure Scotland, home of one of your former drivers David Coulthard, and while a Championship winning RB6 would be brilliant, it would be equally good if one of DC’s old cars could come to his homeland and proudly sit in Scotland’s Museum of Transport.

      1. I thought they had some of Jackie Stewart’s cars just before they closed the old museum. Also, I heard DC’s museum in Twynolm closed in the last couple of years, I wonder what happened to the cars which were there (including a Williams, Mclaren and Red Bull in addition to pre-F1 cars)

        1. *Twynholm

    6. Hong Kong gearing up to take the place of Singapore when they start getting sick of losing too much money?

      1. Aren’t Hong Kong and Singapore meant to be big rivals? I recall people saying back in 2008 how the Singapore GP had changed people’s perceptions of the country, having previously seen it as a “poor mans” Hong Kong.

        In any case, I suspect Singapore is happy with their race, for now at least.

        1. I think so too. Perhaps it will be the new Chinese Grand Prix, which somehow always seems to be under threat?

        2. having previously seen it as a “poor mans” Hong Kong.

          My family have spent a lot of time in both cities, and from their stories, I get the impression that it’s the other way around. I’ve been told Hong Kong is spectacular, but rather filthy. Singapore is renowned for being clean and sparkling.

          1. Yeah I’ve heard Singapore is clean – that’s the place where they (suppoesedly) fine heavily or imprison people for chewing gum.

            1. They say if you repeat something long enough, it becomes truth… *sigh*

              No, the authorities do not fine or imprison people for chewing gum, people can buy gum and bring it in for personal consumption but selling it is illegal.

              Reason why they banned it was because they got tired of cleaning up the mess people left on the subway, becoming an international joke not withstanding…

          2. Being a Singapore citizen who visits Hong Kong regularly, I can say that Hong Kong has a charm and atmosphere that you can’t find in sterilized Singapore (it used to exist back in the day, but was purged by the authorities).

            Anyway, where can they site a track? I’d think Bernie would want to put it on HK Island, but the roads aren’t wide or smooth enough for road cars, let alone F1 cars.

          3. Hong Kong is not flithy. I spent a week and a half there last year, and it’s a fantastic place. I cannot imagine where they would have a Grand Prix in Hong Kong though, it’s a pretty cramped place, plus it’s kind of a part of China now, so it would mean two grand prix in the same country. Not to mention it would have to be compared with the Macau Grand Prix for Formula 3, WTCC, and Motorcycles. Macau is only 30 minutes away on the ferry, and it would be hard to top that event.

        3. Weren’t they both UK colonies years ago?

          Come to think of it there would be lots of British GPs on the calender if the UK still had all the old Imperial ruled colonies:

          Australia, Canada, India, Malaysia, Singapore, UAE (Abu Dhabi) and of course the UK.

          1. There’s that other place too, America or something.

            (Enter hugely speculative counter-factual history of Texas)

        4. I recall people saying back in 2008 how the Singapore GP had changed people’s perceptions of the country, having previously seen it as a “poor mans” Hong Kong.

          A “poor-man’s Hong Kong”?

          I don’t really think so. ever since the British handed Hong Kong back to China in 1997, Beijing has actively encouraged businesses to leave the islands and relocate to Shanghai, which is now the centre of Chinese commerce. If Singapore is competing with anyone, it’s not Hong Kong – it’s Shanghai.

          1. I’m talking more about tourism than business, though

            1. I don’t know – I know people from both Singapore and Hong Kong (well, the New Territories) and they’ll go three rounds over who has got the more-appealing city. I’ve heard them do it before, and I have to say, I’ll come down on the side of Singapore each time.

      2. I really love Hong Kong, but I think that South East Asia already has enough Grands Prix. If Singapore was to be dropped, then I think it would be an equally spectacular place to stage a Grand Prix, but the calendar is too big already.

        Having said that, we could easily thin it out a bit. Valencia and Bahrain would be first on my hit list. ;)

        And then there’s the issue of erecting a circuit in the tight streets of Hong Kong! I can’t imagine they’d stage it on the main island, but Kowloon seems just as tight, too. We need Prisoner Monkeys to draw us up a circuit on Google Maps Pedometer!

        1. Hong Kong is stunning at night:

          But Singapore already has the modern city night race niche covered. I’d love to go to Singapore night race one year, I hope it stays on the calender for many years to come.

        2. For the life of me I just can’t see a street race working in Hong Kong. I really have no idea where it could be held. There are some wide streets, but to link those you’d need to go through some very very narow streets (on both Kowloon and HK Island sides), and theres the issue of tramtracks on a number of the major streets.

          I guess you could have it around the Convention Centre on HK Island, but I’m not convinced, and it wouldn’t be a particuarly interesting circuit.

          Another idea may be to have it at the old airport, but there’s enough plans for that site that it won’t last as open space until HK is ready to host a GP.

          Singapore is exactly the right location for a GP. It has that feeling to it (even away from GP weekends). Hong Kong, I’m not so sure about.

          1. There are some wide streets, but to link those you’d need to go through some very very narow streets (on both Kowloon and HK Island sides)

            I don’t know – these roads all seem pretty wide to me.

            Singapore is exactly the right location for a GP.

            The obvious question here is whether or not Singapore feels the same way about it.

            1. that routing is impossible. You’ve got the track going onto a freeway then suddenly dropping off the side.
              A lot of the other roads you have aren’t as wide as you think. It’d be like Monte Carlo at its narrowist, maybe not even that wide. And plenty of people point out that a track like Monte Carlo wouldn’t get approved nowadays.

            2. my point about th feeling of Singapore wasn’t whether they should keep it. My point was there are places that feel right for a GP, Singapore is one, and places that don’t like the right place for a GP, and I think HK is one of those.

            3. I believe they already have a circuit route sorted out.

            4. that routing is impossible. You’ve got the track going onto a freeway then suddenly dropping off the side.

              And if you look at the Singapore circuit in Google Maps, the start/finish line is in the middle of dense forest.

              The current route might be impossible, but there’s nothing to stop the necessary roads from being built.

        3. I really love Hong Kong, but I think that South East Asia already has enough Grands Prix.

          Read the article again – they’re not talking about an imminent bid for a race. The guy organising it would like to see a Hong Kong Grand Prix “one day”.

          1. Could be a long wait – F1 Racing issue 152 – I know this off the top of my head because it was my first issue ;) – said the Singapore race was 15 years in the planning!!

          2. As a Hongkonger, I’d say PM you’re spot-on.
            It’s always remained a near-impossible dream for motorsports fans in Hong Kong to see a local grand prix. The governemnt isn’t supportive(A 130kph speed limit is applied in the demo yesterday and there are policemen holding speed guns on a footbridge to monitor the speed!), there’s opposition from locals who hate noises and of course, the annoying environmentalists. Basically there isn’t a huge fan base of F1.
            Hopefully I’ll see a Hong Kong Grand Prix(if not Chinese Grand Prix) before I die.

            1. I hope whoever drives the Red Bull, will do ‘a coulthard’ and ignore the speedlimit.

          3. Read the article again – they’re not talking about an imminent bid for a race. The guy organising it would like to see a Hong Kong Grand Prix “one day”.

            Read my post again. Did I once say that they were talking about an imminent bid for a race? Not all of us are trying to spark arguments. Similarly, not all of us like to belittle each other. I wish you’d just accept that.

        4. If anything, they should do a Macau GP instead! That would be something.

          From the comments above, esp. people who have recently visited HongKong, I gather the biggest trouble would be to actually get a reasonable race track fitted in.

      3. Douglas 62500
        19th June 2011, 9:24

        I would love to see the arrival of that day, having the F1 cars screaming past neon lightings in HK !!!!

      4. China already has an F1 race!

        1. Spain has two. Germany had two. Some reports claim America is looking at getting two.

          I doubt the Chinese government would support two races, but if the potential organisers could follow the Silverstone model and do it all themselves, there might be two races in China.

          1. Sergio Perez
            19th June 2011, 14:24

            I’d ratter see the Macau Grand Prix upgraded to F1 standards. Its right next to Hong-Kong, has an incredible motorsport tradition (longest running street circuit race bar Monte Carlo) and all drivers love it and rate it as one of the best circuits in the World. Of course some renovation and changes would need to be made, specially in a couple of corners, but it would certainly make more sense than Hong-Kong. Imagine the Macau Grand Prix at night…. I would die a happy man- but they should still keep the F3 race, though.

    7. Hong Kong, another location that reminds me of Gran Turismo! :)

    8. What a surprise, lewis is declared the number one draw in F1 in a british newspaper. Thats news?


      Guess what surprise I got from my kids this morning….a ticket (Sat + Sun) to the British Grand Prix plus flights, hire car and camping all booked.

      I haven’t found out which grandstand I’m in yet, whatever had seats left when my wife phoned so I’ll have to wait and see what the tickets say when they come through. Once I know what my seat position is like I can decide if I need to book up a Kangaroo TV or if circuit radio plus big screen will suffice. Also need to read through the British Grand Prix page to get the lowdown. It’s about 8 years since I was at Silverstone, can’t wait.

      1. I thought I was being optimistic when I requested a Haynes Manual for a 2005 Citroen Xsara Picasso.

      2. Coolest fathers’ day present ever I think JerseyF1!

        You must be a great father, and certainly the happiest!

      3. Congratulations – that’s great stuff! Closest I’ve come with my dad is go-karting : )

        And happy father’s day to all the dads!

    10. It will race with a 2.5-litre Offenhauser engine, which was built in Cincinnati.

      Huh! I wonder where they built that here. I wasn’t even aware there was a place in Cincy that built engines.

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