Southeast Asian Grand Prix previewed by Liberty Media CEO

At a recent ‘F1 in Depth’ event in Monaco, Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei hinted at possible new Formula 1 races in Southeast Asia.

Liberty Media, the entity that owns Formula 1, sees significant growth opportunities in Southeast Asia, according to Autosport. Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei discussed these possibilities at the ‘F1 in Depth’ event, co-hosted by Autosport Business in Monaco, where the potential to expand the Grand Prix calendar in Southeast Asia was a key topic. Maffei commented:

“We are lucky to have been able to compete in a race in China this year after four years. It was very successful. Interest in China has skyrocketed in part because we now have a Chinese driver.

“Critically, you see a lot of cultural identity when you have drivers from one country and when you have teams from one country. And it’s been fantastic to see the growth in China.

“But there is a lot of interest from all over Asia, as we have interest from many cities. But in Asia, as you point out: Thailand, Seoul and we have received interest from Indonesia. There are many places that want a Formula 1 race.

“We’ve really looked at the intersection of where our fans are, where they could be, who could run a great race and who, frankly, can afford a race, and all those kinds of intersections of those three circles.”

Further committing to the idea, Maffei suggested the feasibility of adding more Asian locations to the F1 calendar. He continued:

“I think you could easily see a second one in Southeast Asia (along with China).”

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali recently commented on the growing interest from nations to join the F1 calendar. He told ESPN:

“More than 35 (venues have expressed interest. Eleven (are serious contenders), so they’re all realistic.

“No, seriously, the request is very, very big. It’s up to us to make the right decisions. But the number is set at 24. It will still be 24. Don’t forget that five years ago we were 17 or 18.

“It was a big step to add more in such a short time, but it’s simply because the market requires it and we love doing great things together. But 24 is the limit.”

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