Formula 1 is contemplating adding two more street races in Asia to the calendar as part of an initiative to attract more fans, Managing Director of Commercial Operations Sean Bratches reports.
The sport is currently going under a process to re-invent itself under new owners Liberty Media who took over in January.
The night street circuit of Singapore has been popular with fans since making its debut in 2008, and Bratches says that followers of F1 can expect to see more street circuits in the future.
“I’m spending a lot of time reaching out proactively to cities and think ultimately we will realise more street races than we have seen historically,” he spoke.
“We will go to iconic cities where there are large fan bases, particularly new fan bases that we can activate.
“From a fan standpoint the backdrops of these city centres … can really make compelling television and pictures.”
When asked if that meant more street circuits in Asia, Bratches added: “Yes, two.”
In recent years, Asian Grands Prix have been falling off the calendar, with the Korean and Indian races being lost in the last five years. Due to financial problems, the race in Malaysia this season will be its last. There are still talks regarding the future of the Singapore Grand Prix.
Bratches reported that statistically, in numbers of fans, Asia is Formula 1’s biggest market and there are currently negotiations for races in completely new locations.
“We are very focused on bringing additional GPs to the continent here. We’re in talks with a couple of cities to that end,” he said.
He added that Liberty Media plans to set a third of each season in Asia, Europe, and the Americas, with races taking place a continent at a time, which would benefit fans, sponsors, organisers and teams.
“We think there is a lot of vibrancy to having a few more street races to the calendar,” Bratches spoke.