Hong Kong joins list of aspiring F1 venues

Jaime Alguersuari is doing a Red Bull street demo in Hong Kong today, and inevitably that has led to suggestions that the city could one day host a Grand Prix.

Although it seems highly unlikely that the authorities would be interested, a few years ago people would have laughed if you’d suggested Singapore as a possible F1 venue. At least one local official is keen on the idea.

“This is the first step in gaining the support of the people,” Hong Kong Automobile Association president Wesley Wan told the South China Morning Post.

“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.

“My dream is that Hong Kong, like Singapore, Malaysia and China, will be a stop on the grand prix circuit.”

“And as far as a street circuit is concerned, if Monte Carlo and Singapore can have it, why can’t Hong Kong?”

Wan said that Hong Kong had been approached about a race – presumably by Bernie Ecclestone – before the 1997 handover.

4 Comments

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4 responses to “Hong Kong joins list of aspiring F1 venues

  1. mvi

    Maybe the idea is that the Chinese GP would alternate between Shanghai and Hong Kong.

  2. P Smith

    A Hong Kong race? That has to be one of the dumbest ideas I’ve ever heard of, worse than Macau or a Paris street circuit. I live in Taiwan and have been to Hong Kong several times, and can tell you from first hand experience there are precious few places with enough room on the streets or land to build a track on.

    The airports are a non-starter, both are in use 24/7. All the downtown streets are so narrow that they make Monaco look wide. And any places that have graded land, like ports or construction sites, are in bad or inconvenient locations, or the businesses operating there would be unwilling to accept the revenue lost from not operating for a week (even if a track could be setup, run and taken down in that time). Just because the Chinese government is a dictatorship doesn’t mean they would always get their way.

    The only place that a circuit *might* be built is Hong Kong Disneyland. It has wide streets, it would not inconvenience most businesses by being set up there, and the train from the city to the new airport stops at Disneyland, as does Montreal’s subway to Ile Notre-Dame, which would make getting fans in and out very easy.

    But even then, there’s precious little space for a pit area (two parking lots no more than 200m at the longest) and the layout would be a lot like the Motegi road course where MotoGP races. It would have lots of straights, no flowing corners, and all hairpins or 90 degree turns. It would be fast, but VERY boring and have no character at all. I’ll try to make and post a map with a potential layout to show you.

    • P Smith

      Addendum:

      My mistake, the Kai Tak airport has been decommissioned and its existing asphalt and taxi strips could be used for a circuit. There would be enough room for a long main straight, pit area and grandstands, plus two nearby bridges are wide enough (10+m) for connecting to other nearby unused land. Potentially, a circuit as long as 6km would be possible (use google earth and it’s ruler/path feature).

      But even so, the city and businesses want to use that land immediately. If a race were to ever happen there, it would have be demanded right now. The city is desperate for space to expand.

  3. Alfa Corvette

    I live in Hong Kong. Indeed it would be interesting to have a Hong Kong Grand Prix.

    There are a few great things in Hong Kong. First, Hong Kong has an unusual relief – part of the city is on steep hills while another part is on reclaimed flat land. That would make an interesting and exciting circuit. Second, Hong Kong streets are narrow but not more than Monaco. Nevertheless, isn’t a narrow track interesting? It doesn’t matter whether the streets are narrow. But then, there is no doubt that there are also many wide streets in Hong Kong. Dear Mr P Smith, you might need to discover more on Hong Kong.

    But…

    1. Hong Kong government shows absolute zero interest on motor-racing, no matter the benefits of holding races.
    2. No, Mr Wesley Wan is NOT a government official… He is just the president of the Automobile Association, and he has no right to speak in the government.
    3. A plan of a formal circuit has been planned on a piece of land, but it has never been approved. Fault of the stupid local politicians.
    4. If it is a street circuit, the largest concern is that there is hardly any place to accommodate the pit facilities and grand stands. It may sound unfeasible in this perspective.

    Who knows what will happen next in Hong Kong… But I still look forward to a Hong Kong Grand Prix.

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