According to the Bangkok Post English-language daily, Thailand's tourism and sports minister Chumpol Silpa-archa told AFP that its first Formula One race in 2014 is likely to be held at night as in Singapore. Apparently Thai officials had met with Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone on the quiet late last month, when negotiations with Formula One's governing body, the FIA, were already more than halfway through.
|That's the way the cookie crumbles|
Iswaran had stressed that the government negotiations for the extension were about reducing costs through factors such as infrastructure, operational efficiencies in race organisation and revised terms with the race promoter and FOA. However he refused to reveal the concessions acceded, in particular the discount in franchise fees for the new contract, citing "commercial confidentiality". Obviously this is one government official who plays lip service to accountability and transparency.
Last year, officials behind the inaugural Indian Grand Prix told AFP it would take them four years to break even, leaving them only one year on their current contract to make a profit. It will be doubtful if our own officials can do better. Iswaran had claimed that the race was operating at roughly break-even cost, although there was "additional scope for savings". Without the numbers, the minister will never be able live down the fact that he has been weighed, has been measured, and has been found wanting.