Copenhagen would be “a great platform” for F1 – Carey

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Formula One CEO Chase Carey endorses Copenhagen as a potential future race venue after meeting the team behind the bid for a Danish Grand Prix.

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Comment of the day

The French Grand Prix is not the most accessible race for fans, as @Alianora-La-Canta explains:

If Paul Ricard was near a city, it would certainly have helped. Unfortunately, it’s not – it’s just over 25 miles east of Marseilles and 105 miles west of Nice. North is the very rural Rhone national parks. South is the Mediterranean ocean. Also note: all the prices I’m about to quote are one-way, so even if you only went for race day, you’d need to pay each price twice…

From the Marseilles direction, the nearest bus route stops 10.6 miles away, at St Cyr-les-Lecques. While using it saves £35 on taxi fare (expect to pay £27 for the taxi from St Cyr-les-Leques to Paul Ricard and £8 for the train), it’s still not a walkable distance for most people to do six times in the same weekend. This is 55 minutes’ travel each way, before taking Grand Prix traffic into account (or 40 minutes’ drive, for anyone using a car or taxi to travel directly between Marseille and Paul Ricard).

From the Nice direction, the only primarily-public-transport option is the train. This stops in Toulon, 17.5 miles east of Paul Ricard. The site I used to obtain these figures refuses to quote the taxi fare for the entire journey, but the taxi for Toulon-Paul Ricard was estimated at £35 and the train is £25. 105 miles of walking across a weekend sounds like a fantastic hike across the Provence landscape, but not perhaps the sort of interest crossover that the French Grand Prix organisers had in mind when they started to organise this race. This is nearly 2 hours and 20 minutes of public transport travel (or 2 hours’ drive for the cars and taxis).

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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54 comments on “Copenhagen would be “a great platform” for F1 – Carey”

  1. “The estimated budget is 300-500 million Danish krone (35.73-59.54 million pounds) per race while the expected income from spectators including tickets is seen at 1-2 billion Danish krone ($160-320 million), (Lars Seier) Christensen said.”

    Something doesn’t add up here.

    1. One is converted in £, the other in $, I also scratched my head a bit .

  2. If there are worries about accessing Paul Ricard without your own car, how do people generally manage to get to Spa?
    That is quite remote too in terms of European Grand Prix track, perhaps the most rural?

    It is a genuine question in which I’m interested to hear the answer to. I’d like to head over for a Belgian GP but don’t really want to hire a car at that end.

    1. Spa has a major dual carriage way in easy reach, if I remember driving there right. No traffic issues at all (but we got early and didn’t rush off)

    2. Where are you planning to come from, Antwerp or Zaventem?

    3. I have been there twice and stayed in Hasselt which is a stunning place with very friendly people (being in the Flemish part of Belgium). It is about an Hour (possibly less) drive from there but the hotel prices are much better. The roads to spa are pretty good (mostly motorway) until you get very close to the circuit. There can be a few jams around the track but it was not too bad.

      You will need a car though as the closer places will be very pricey even if you can get a room at all.

      1. a stunning place with very friendly people (being in the Flemish part of Belgium)

        Er, what? I find the subtext bewildering.

        1. I find the Flemish Belgians to be far more friendly and open than the French Belgians in general… For instance we went to Spa (the actual town) and nobody would even talk or make eye contact with us. A restaurant we went to could not get us out quick enough and the Spa (pool…) staff would barely look in our direction and were pretty unhelpful.

          In Hasselt the waiters at the restaurants would notice we were English and spend time with us to understand the menus and explain all that was on offer. They could not do enough for us , they were amazing! Then I was standing outside a shop one morning, wondering why it was closed when it should have been open… without asking a random guy came up to me and explained that it was closed for a stock taking and would be open in 1 hour.

          I am sure it is a generalisation and I am sure there are very friendly French Belgians but it is my and others experience…

    4. Spa is also bad for people relying on public transport and not staying in the area – the nearest bus I can see stops 4.7 miles west of it, in Coo (about the same distance as Silverstone is from the nearest bus stop that has service on Grand Prix Sundays in Towcester).

      There is a lot of camping available near the Spa circuit, which helps some, but you’ll find most people either have a car (be that their own or a friend/family member’s) or can afford a fair bit of taxi travel.

      1. Firstly, a correction: I misread the travel instructions. It would be a train, not a bus. From Liège (the nearest city, which is about 35 miles north-west of the track), it’s direct, takes a bit over an hour and it costs less than £10 each way.

        Also, the attractiveness of a 5-miles-each-way walk does vary. I’m a sufficient keen walker that a distance of 5 miles each way from the bus stop wouldn’t put me off; I’ve done it for various events in Silverstone to enable me to stay in Northampton hotels instead of the limited choice nearer to the track*. If you are a good walker, and can get accommodation near one of the train stations on the route, it’s just about feasible to do Spa without either a car or a taxi. A lot of people would not consider this their idea of fun or practicality, and therefore either need nearby accommodation and/or access to a car through the weekend.

        * – (Getting lost on the way, on the other hand, is something that concerns me a lot given my track record on these things. The route for Silverstone took me perhaps 6 attempts to learn despite studying maps before, during and between attempts. Suffice to say this is why, now I’ve surprised myself by starting a plan to go to a foreign F1 race this year, it’s in Hungary and not France or Belgium. That has a train station with a connection to Budapest only a mile from the track and is a very easy race to reach via public transport.)

  3. Re Comment of the Day.
    @alianora-la-canta Great research! It seems fans visiting the track are in for a difficult day, especially as some of those fares could easily increase on the days the track is open to the public.

    1. If you are adventurous, and have a car, that part of France is geared up for massive amounts of tourists in summer, almost every village or small town has hotels, gites and campings nearby.

      1. @hohum – Agreed. I love Aix-en-Provence and the area around there. Long time ago, but great memories… Were I going to the race, I’d look around between there and the track maybe.

    2. Fans who have a car or access to one (which is going to be a large portion of the fans) will probably have a day no more or less difficult than attending anywhere else – I can’t judge the risk of traffic since I’ve not been to that particular bit of Provence, but at worst it’ll only be like Silverstone in the 1990s or a really badly-planned concert (I’ve been to Grands Prix and city-centre rush hours, and the worst traffic jam I was ever in was when 5000 people’s cars were released out of a Meat Loaf concert in the very rural Chatsworth Park simultaneously. It took 1 hour 45 minutes to move 50 metres out of the car park!)

      People staying locally are also likely to be OK, regardless of transportation, as it is much easier to summon a taxi for one occasion either side of the weekend than for, say, six occasions during race weekend when lots of other people want one.

      It’s the people who are hoping to use public transport, or rely on taxis, to get from their accommodation to the track who are likely to struggle. I expect this is part of the reason only 65,000 tickets are being sold.

  4. If we had access to all the footage, crazy fans could make amazing “directors cut” of each race, all at no cost to Liberty.

    1. Yes, and remember for most of us, of the 20% that gets broadcast, a third gets cut out for commercials so we only get to see 14%, or 7% if we only get the so called highlights.

      1. That is why there is a place for both PayTV and FreeToAir TV. If people detest adverts and they have the money, let them pay to see the whole race, if they can’t afford it or don’t care too much about adverts, then they’d be happy with the adverts.

        1. That’s why Sky have so much money. They get people to pay a subscription AND watch advertisements, double bubble!

          1. One of the commentators on the top radio station where I live said he suspects that radio station’s sports dedicated channel has the highest costs (not sure if that includes the cost of the DJ) in New Zealand (where I live), and that is because every sport they do live broadcast on wants large amounts of money for the right to broadcast that sport.
            I would expect TV broadcast rights, especially for sports, to cost more than radio commentary, so no, I don’t believe most Pay TV companies have lots of money. Yes, their gross income is more than your local TV companies, but they are essentially in the same boat as your local mobile phone companies and internet service providers: most of the money they collect goes to others.
            This doesn’t mean I support having F1 races behind the pay wall, I don’t, but I do think if people want to watch a race without adverts and they have the money, then why not let them? And if they can’t afford it or aren’t too fussed about it, let them see adverts.
            I would much rather pay to watch an F1 race that is of decent quality and is legal than one that isn’t legal, but I’m sure there are lots of others who aren’t so particular.

          2. @lotus49 Yeah, but at least the ad breaks on subscription-based TV channels take place between the programs, not during them.

  5. I’m no expert, but those seem like very ambitious figures for the cost and income of the race

    1. Tell me about it! Itll be interesting to see where they can fit these massive grandstands in if the ticket sales are meant to be that high, theres not a lot of space in the city.

      1. Most of the predicted revenue is hotel, travel, food, and shopping by the extra visitors over the race weekend.
        I’m sure that they will still make a los if only looking at ticket sales versus hosting fees and organisation of the event.

    2. These figures are always optimistic, and never come to fruition. What amazes me, is how Bernie pulled this trick for 40 odd years and it worked again and again. I doubt it will work in Copenhagen, but it is interesting. Turkey, India, South Korea come to mind. Where are they now. Once the figures failed to materialise, Bernie moved in to the next one. I just hope Liberty and Ross Brawn are not going to follow the same pattern.

      1. bonbonjai, in the case of the Indian GP, there were a number of criticisms that went beyond the event itself – there were complaints about the visa application process (reportedly one of the most awkward systems on the calendar), and the teams themselves were reportedly furious with the way that the Indian government tried to tax them (firstly redefining the race as an entertainment event instead of a sporting fixture in order to bump it into a higher tax category, then demanding that the teams had to pay tax on their global turnover instead of just paying tax on the revenue they received in association with the Indian GP).

  6. I see Renault are starting their “we’ll be focusing on reliability” song early.

    To paraphrase:-

    We’ve not done much in the way of updates.
    We certainly won’t let anyone have a qualy mode because the PU might break.
    Any new parts we had planned are likely to be late

    RBR and Mclaren can give up on 2018 now.

    1. They are arguing against themselves. They expect to get closer thanks to the extra reliability required but it is difficult to believe. In particular considering Mercedes was ahead of Renault both on performance and reliability.
      As they say, Renault will have to be conservative for qualification but not sure Mercedes will to the same extend. That could maintain the gap between the two…

    2. It’s all ‘Winter Talk’ by the PU guys.

      Renault (one of the slowest and least reliable ones) says its engine will be ‘much more similar’ to last year.
      Mercedes on the other hand (fastest and most reliable) said last week that they’ll change almost every part in their PU.

      1. Mercedes, me thinks, would not be changing most parts of their power unit just for reliability. Peformance, will also have been a major reason. Also, the reason Renault gave its customers last year for not so many updates, was that they were working on getting more power from their units, with better reliability as a pay off. If they are making excuses now, before the season even starts, i’d be worried if I were a Renault customer. That media speak does not sound positive to me.

      2. Can’t go along with this negativity toward Renault. They haven’t said they haven’t done much in the way of updates. They haven’t said there will be no quali mode whatsoever. Where they say new parts will be delayed is beyond me.

        Yes Mercedes is the benchmark, we’ve known that since 2014 with many around here slamming F1 for helping them lock in their advantage, with the token system only more recently being removed.

        The suggestion is that Mercedes may have to go more conservative on Saturdays which may help the other teams. That remains to be seen. But I see no reason to think Renault won’t make advances. All they’ve said is they didn’t make as many changes for this season as they did from 2016 to 2017. As if they’re not trying their hardest. As if they should just ‘give up on 2018 now.’ Ridiculous.

        1. Whose negativity, @Robbie?
          Probably not mine, as I merely repeated Renault’s own quotes from the article ;)

          1. Lol oh ok I’ll select one quote from Renault too. ‘We are changing only the parts that will make a difference to the performance.’

          2. Still don’t get it, @robbie. And neither do I see the negativity.
            You are confirming the point I made!

  7. Just stop with this obsession on street circuits already, LOL.

    1. Track looks pants too!

    2. @jerejj $$$ Haven’t $$$ you $$$ heard? $$$ It’s $$$ about $$$ bringing $$$ the $$$ races $$$ closer $$$ to $$$ the $$$ fans.

      1. @ninjenius Yeah, but what’s the use of bringing it closer to the fans when 95-99% of the time these type of circuits produce processional racing.

        1. @jerejj I agree. However the clue is in the “$$$”.

  8. I’d be keen on a race in Denmark, only because I live in Sweden and Copenhagen is very accessible for me. Then again, those profit/cost estimations don’t add up. Surely they haven’t counted all the fees that may be included, hosting + cost for shutting the city down, roadwork needed, pit complex, extra staff needed to make it happen. Then again, attracting a large crowd would boost every restaurant and entertainment business in central Copenhagen. Tivoli would be full of people! Planes and trains would bring in people. The Oresund bridge would see an increase in vehicles crossing it too. So from that side, it’s all good.

  9. We already have enough street-circuits. If they want to expand the calander, do it with tracks like Imola, Istanbul, Nurnburgring, etc. But they all have their own difficult circunstances why they’re not on the calander unfortunately. If those tracks are not possible anymore, keep it like this. 21 races in a year is already quite busy for the teams.
    I would swap Russia happily for any other circuit in the world though..

    1. @jesperfey13 I couldn’t agree more with you especially with ”We already have enough street-circuits.”

  10. any quotes from the Green Copenhagen Mayor apart fom the below?

    “Copenhagen is at the forefront of world cities in the green transition, and we are working hard to become the world’s first CO2 neutral capital in 2025. Therefore it seems totally wrong for the municipality to still be investing in oil, coal and gas. We must change that,” the city’s mayor, Frank Jensen, told the Danish newspaper, Information,

    “I think this move sits well with Copenhagen’s desire for a green profile for their city,”

    1. Well, so far the mayors in charge of infrastructure/environment and culture respectively (Copenhagen has both a Lord Mayor and a number of mayors responsible for particular areas of government), representing two parties (in the Copenhagen municipality government have come out against the idea, along with representative for a third party. All quoting exactly the environmental image as their reason.

      This, so far, accounts for 23 of 55 votes in the municipal government (“borgerrepræsentationen”) against. The socialist party (SF) has a further 6 votes, and are not exactly petrolheads, to say the least.

      Representatives of the “Liberal alliance” have come out eagerly pro-F1, representing a whopping 2 of out 55 votes.

      It hinges on the votes of the social democratic party (15 votes of 55). The Lord Mayor, quoted above, is from this party, and a green profile has been a major point for this party.

      So, political backing is, at best, up in the air.

      The people behind the project are, apart from a very optimistic budget, banking on the municipality of Copenhagen to cough up a sizable amount of money. Personally, I think that the municipal and regional governments’ are very vary of this. They haven’t forgotten getting their fingers badly burnt the last time someone had a very optimistic budget and very optimistic forecasts for loads of tourist money rolling it. It was the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, that ended in a financial debacle, and many of the politicians involved today were in that one too. I think that will be a case of once bitten, twice shy.

      The minister of commerce (national level) who was in the meeting is all for it, but doesn’t have any funds to commit. His an extremely junior cabinet post with no real budget.

      Not saying that it cannot happen, but I honestly believe the idea is politically dead in the water.

      1. Thanks. Copenhagen is one of my favourite cities btw. I don’t think an F1 race would suit it somehow.
        I noted the people posing around in their loud supercars looked terribly out of place, very few people seemed impressed.

    2. good point there!

  11. Any reason why the McLaren from the amazon prime video has the sound of a Formula E car?
    I’ve seen videos from FOM with the current cars sounding like v8, but a F1 v6 sounding like an electric? That has to be the first one

    1. I think you need to listen more closely, (admitedly like I had to) you’re talking about the opening scene with tyre screeching, there is definately ICE noise. The video actually does a great job of highlighting the fact we hear far more sounds from the hybrid F1 cars opposed to just exhaust gas noise.
      The last race I attended you could hear the sound of aero when they lifted, quite an experience.

    2. It did sound like Fe to me. I also found interesting that apparently the narrator is Michael Douglas, an f1 fan, and apparently from today another sexual harassment suspect.

  12. “There are some rules around what you can and can’t do with the Halo – the inside can’t be painted because they don’t want the drivers to be distracted.”

    But a 30 button, 800 functions, all singing and dancing steering wheel is ok? Then again, when did we ever come to expect common sense from F1?

    1. Hehe a steering wheel is not a safety measure it seems.

  13. Hey Keith, I’m a little late in this.
    So regarding the article yesterday, about rebranding the site and everything, I hope you have some plans for an app of F1 Fanatic. I don’t know much about how those are run and the costs and all, but it’d be great to have all these people together. The comments that I read here are great. I hope you consider the app thing in future.

    P.S. Really excited regarding all the changes going on. Been visiting this site everyday for past 3 years. It’s the best.

  14. Worrying from Renault, I just don’t think they understand the mindset. Mercedes will not stop pushing on any front, hoping for rival to not try is a failing mentality in sport.

  15. Why would the increase of more race footage increase the audience? Are there people not watching anything because ‘there’s not enough?’ It’s not like more coverage of a football game would suddenly mean more people watch the game. And it’s not like viewer numbers have gone down because there’s less coverage than in the past. It’s the casual viewers not watching anymore because of paywalls that has reduced / limits the audience.

  16. Things just works in Copenhagen/Denmark – would be a perfect spot for a City race if thats what they want… and gridgirls would be pretty.. just get it started..

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