Start, Baku City Circuit, 2019

Panama tipped for potential F1 race bid

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Plans to create an F1-ready street circuit in Panama City are being drawn up.

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Comment of the day

Should Christian Horner be seriously concerned he could lose Max Verstappen at the end of next year?

If Verstappen fails to win the title in 2020, he will be ready to leave for either Mercedes or Ferrari at the drop of a hat. Jos has already made it clear that winning the title is Max’s highest priority and that there’s no loyalty towards any team in that decision.

I think Hamilton might be considering a move, and Vettel is more likely than not going retire at the end of 2020… or it’s highly doubtful he’ll be at Ferrari in 2021. If one seat opens up at either Ferrari or Mercedes is when the musical chairs begins, and I really doubt Max will want that Red Bull chair if Ferrari or Mercedes are available.

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Author information

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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27 comments on “Panama tipped for potential F1 race bid”

  1. What a bizzare comment of the day. Ferrari will not accept Verstappen into their team. And Vettel will absolutely not retire at the end of 2020.

    1. @carbon_fibre The former maybe, but the latter definitely is a possibility.

    2. Everyone wants max and lewis, bizarre is saying the opposite. Panama is bizarre as well. What next greenland gp.

    3. He may not retire but if he’s staying, it will be at Alfa/Wiliams/Haas.

    4. I think the COTD is spot on.

    5. Sorry but I really fail to see the logic in your comment @carbon_fibre.

      Why on earth wouldn’t Ferrari want to sign Verstappen?
      Vettel retiring, or leaving Ferrari seems more likely than not to mee too, seems the CotD is spot on

      1. @jerejj

        The Ferrari CEO recently mentioned that Verstappen will never join Ferrari because he accused them of cheating. Verstappen himself said that a move to Ferrari is unrealistic because Leclerc has established himself there.

        Vettel’s retirement rumours are completely made-up by the media. Enough said.

        1. @carbon_fibre fair enough.
          I remember Max winning the austrian gp 2 years ago and RB shouting “max you need more weight” as he came out of the car to celebrate. doping and cheating are only real if they fit the narrative. I can see max is ferrari calling everyone else cheats.

        2. @carbon_fibre ”Vettel’s retirement rumours are completely made-up by the media. Enough said.”
          – True, but that was last year when he wasn’t about to be out of contract yet, but next time around, he will be, so it’s going to be more relevant then.

  2. Hey Keith, it’s amazing I remember this but isn’t tomorrow exactly a decade since you started doing these round-ups?

    As for this Panama story – is this actually legit? I saw this pop up on Reddit the other day but as others pointed out, it came out on the Day of the Holy Innocents, which is the Spanish speaking world’s equivalent to April Fools Day. Still, I’ve heard of stranger places being seriously linked to hosting a grand prix!

  3. Ferrari saying excessive spending is killing F1 – surely the definition of irony right there :)

    Happy New Year to all.

    1. @dbradock In fairness, you can be required to take part in something even whilst realising it is a state of affairs that is unsustainable. Undoubtedly, Ferrari’s budget explosion in the late 90s is one of the reasons F1 is in its current financial situation, but if they hadn’t done it, someone else would’ve and Ferrari would’ve been left in the dust. I for one am happy that Ferrari at least in PR speak support the budget cap even if they are part of the reason it is needed.

      A successful 2020 to you and everyone else reading this.

      1. @klon, I suspect many are still looking at those statements and thinking “OK, what is the catch?”. The way that Ferrari are talking just sounds that little too altruistic for it to ring entirely true, such that many will probably wonder what it is that they are looking for in return for their “sacrifices”.

        1. If Ferrari are sounding a little too altruistic now, that is likely because even they know the size of the excesses they enjoyed in the past and that were never sustainable and were never going to continue post-BE. I know I for one do not wonder what they are looking for in return for such ‘sacrifices’ other than to be in a healthy F1 for years to come as they need F1 (and a healthy one at that) every bit the same as F1 needs them.

    2. Ferrari does spend less than RBR and Mercedes.

  4. I don’t really know what to make of the study about holding an F1 race in Panama City. If it were to happen at some point, then pairing it with either Mexico or Brazil would be the most practical option logistics-wise. The photoshopped images look weird, though. The first one looks more like the Singapore T7-T8 section, and I wonder why did they choose Nico Rosberg for S/F-line/chequered flag image.

  5. Thanks for the great round-up today.
    – First some interesting articles from yesterday (saves me from checking my other F1 news gatherer)
    – No quotes with little relevance (and often weeks old)
    – Social Media not as prominent (and no re-posts of people nobody has ever heard of)
    – And a CotD from a registered commenter (only wish it would not be to prolong yesterday’s round-up discussion. maybe due to slow news day)
    Hope 2020 will be full of round-ups like this.

    1. @coldfly is happy with a round-up?!

      Who are you and what have you done with the real ColdFly?

      Happy new year, dude(tte).

      1. Must be my feminine site which approved of today’s round-up.

        Happy 2020 to you as well, @phylyp.
        Besides the great work by @keithcollantine, @dieterrencken and their elves I enjoy the comments by, and discussions with, real F1 Fanatics ;) insightful, in-depth, and often funny, quirky, and a with a hint of sarcasm.

  6. I think people here forget that F1 is a business before a sport. This isn’t football where you can rack up huge debt and keep going. Once you spend that last dollar the banks call it quits. Yes Ferrari spend money but they earn money selling cars. They realise that with cost escalating the current model is not sustainable for them. A cost cap will benefit them but here’s the rub, they will want a higher cost cap cos they bring in money through other enterprises, whereas the smaller teams who just race want a lower cost cap. Make it too low and which manufacturers are going to stick around, but make it too high and no manufacturer can afford to.

  7. Seeing Panama as a potential grand prix host in a US-friendly timezone gave me this idea.
    If Liberty wants to make F1 a truly global sport, they should disperse grands prix in different timezones based on their audiences. F1 is currently extremely optimised for European audiences, with race time also being somewhat compatible with US timezones, at the expense of huge market in Asia and Australia.
    Taking inspiration in a solution used for online competitions in one game I play, the optimal solution is to always aim to make the airing time compatible with two of the three major regions – Europe, Americas and Asia/Pacific – with events aimed for each region being evenly distributed throughout the season.
    This makes more sense with rising number of grands prix over a season. Less avid fans would be able to comfortably watch two thirds or races without having to sacrifice sleep regardless of which timezone they live in.

    1. Interestingly for me the current prevailing (European) timeslots are ideal for Australia.
      I can watch the race on Sunday evening and not impede with my weekend activities.
      Furthermore, in summer with the long summer nights, there is a nice break in the programme.
      I guess you’ll never make everybody happy.

      1. We here on the North American Wet-Coast are in the totally opposite situation when it comes to European time slots. Yes, we whine and b…. about it, but there are benefits. Yes, getting up at 4:30 am to catch the pre-race stuff and start is a pain, but on the positive side ….

        “I can watch the race on Sunday ‘morning’ and not impede with my weekend activities.”

        Glass half full or half empty.?? As the engineer said, “If that’s beer, nice, but I will need 3 more just like it.”

        1. Agree, @rekibsn. That’s why I enjoy F1 so much – it’s a year round PVR festival. There are no boring races, only slow fingers on the FFWD button.

    2. @johnbeak I see your point, but I don’t know how that could be achievable in practicality. Regardless, I’m part of the European-audience with ”extremely optimised” timings. At present, the earliest (race) starting time for me is 07:10 for the Australian GP, and 21:10 the latest for the three North American-races with the majority, of course, falling within the afternoon-hours. My favorites are the morning-ones as there’s the least amount of minutes to wait from waking up till the drivers’ parade, while with the evening-ones, it’s the full opposite, but each one of them has both pros and cons when compared to each other.
      @coldfly @rekibsn @jimmi-cynic

  8. another street circiut no comment

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