Updated: Jan 27
Written by Marco Noguier, Edited by Hafiz Akbar
In 2020, Formula 1 was supposed to race in Vietnam, but due to Covid and financial issues the race never happened and the track left the calendar. Hanoi isn’t the only track with a story like that. In this article we will explore two tracks that nearly appeared on the Formula 1 calendar.
Patras circuit (Greece)
In 2011, Formula 1 was in need of new tracks to add to the calendar. In the meantime, Greece wanted to boost their economy to get out of the financial crisis. Agreements were made between Bernie Ecclestone and the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. A layout was proposed in Thessaloniki, but the project was to costly and a new place is chosen: Patras
The Thessaloniki layout
Patras is the 3rd town of Greece and is chosen to host the GP. Layouts were being made but one thing was missing: money. The entire project (the track, the paddock and the hotels) was estimated at 94,5 millions euros, which Greece couldn’t afford due to the financial plight taking place in the country. But in 2012, the country receives 28,9 millions euros to build the track.
The layout of the Greek GP in Patras
But, the project overran its agreed time of completion and the Greek government stopped negotiating. Nowadays, with the Covid situation not helping the Greek economy, there’s little chance we may well see Greece trying to join the Formula 1 calendar any time soon.
Finland plays a huge part in Formula 1 history, with drivers like Keke Rosberg, Mika Hakinnen, Kimi Raikonnen, Heikki Kovalainen and Valtteri Bottas. And yet, there’s not a single Formula 1 race taking place in the country since 1963. At the time, they used to race on the Circuit d’Eläintarha. A very fast circuit and a particularly dangerous one. In fact this was the reason was Formula 1 left this track.
For a long time, Finland didn’t have any circuits. That was until 2020 when the Kymiring was finished. The only problem is that this track didn’t have the FIA grade 1 standard required to host an Formula 1 race weekend. But in 2020, Covid struck and many countries closed their borders and many Grand Prix were cancelled. The FIA launched an initiative to add new circuits in order to replace unavailable tracks, which is why we saw Portimao and Imola being added to the calendar. There was still one place left. But the owners of the Kymiring couldn’t find the time to host an event as big as an Formula 1 race weekend and Mugello took the last spot on the calendar.
The Kymiring layout
To make things worse, the two last MotoGP races that were supposed to be hosted were canceled. But the CEO of AKK Motorsports said “nothing is confirmed. We must be careful, but we are looking for different choices, but right now I can just say that it looks good.”
There are chances that the Kymiring could be put on the 2021 Formula 1 race calendar, the only problem is that the FIA seems more interested in the Middle East than Europe. Nevertheless, a Finnish Grand Prix is still possible and in the works.