The Kymi track will almost certainly be approved for Formula 1 racing but is unlikely ever to see a race of that magnitude and has more humble goals in mind
As it all starts to come good for Kimi Raikkonen, and Valtteri Bottas gets ever more consistent, the Finnish presence in Formula 1 is rock solid and there are many who like to bet on sports in Finland backing the pair each and every time they take to the cockpit. The skillfully gained 2nd place finish for Kimi particularly sweet, partly because of the early season problems for the Ferrari driver, but also because it annoyed the already rumbling volcano that is Nico Rosberg.
Kymi Ring Bids For MotoGp
• Shuns F1’s expense
• Wants to host GP2 & GP3
• Bike racing the aim of the game
The more the pressure gets to Rosberg the more chance there is for the Ferrari’s of Raikkonen and Vettel to capitalize on his errors and increase that pressure even more. I’m not sure what the odds are on Rosberg melting down on camera this season, but I suspect they probably equal his chances of winning the F1 Championship this year. ComeOn! Sportsbook rank that at 10.00 (compared to Hamilton’s 1.16) which is now behind Vettel’s odds of 9.25. This is something Nico is more than likely unhappy about.
Bernie Ecclestone, the man that holds the fate of F1 in his hands like a zombie version of Andy Warhol clutching at some bystander’s throat in a bad horror movie, has complained that some of the drivers are dull, that they need character to put on what he insists on calling “the show”. It is unfortunate that Bernie seems to desire a crossbreeding of soap opera, reality show and Formula 1 motorsport, the teams and professionalism leaving little room for such fripperies, something Bernie already knew.
This is pretty much Bernie Ecclestone’s stock in trade. Come up with an unworkable or impractical scheme, have it shot down by the teams, the fans, the media or the drivers, and then throw up your hands and claim everyone else is stuck in their ways and that your plans for progress have been thwarted by everyone or anyone else. Worse still those he has forced through have made things worse but not better, the sport still haemorrhaging viewers, something sponsors will start to worry about.
Baku Has The Bucks For Formula 1
There will be changes next season, of course, not least of which will be the new venue of Baku in Azerbaijan. If you’re wondering what Azerbaijan is doing hosting a Grand Prix whilst France doesn’t, Germany won’t and Italy might not, count the derricks and go figure. Formula 1 follows the money with as much dogged determination as Woodward and Bernstein, and a street race in Baku will certainly be atmospheric, even if that atmosphere is slightly more akin to a computer game than F1 racing reality.
The teams don’t particularly like street races. The Monaco Grand Prix is a superb event for the sponsors and the media, but the teams would far prefer a proper circuit race with decent facilities instead, and what they’ll think of Baku away from the cameras is anyone’s guess. The track itself is a sprint and brake style course that should provide interesting racing for the fans, if no real technical challenge for the teams. Ultimately it is the cost of the race that has dictated its placement, Baku can afford it, others can’t.
If you’re Finnish gambling laws of fair play might see the new Kymi Ring circuit host a Grand Prix any time soon you’ll be disappointed. Despite the track being constructed to the exacting standards of the very pinnacles of motorsport the vast cost of hosting a round of the Formula 1 simply puts it beyond the grasp of Finland. This is a great shame as I’m sure Bottas and Raikkonen would both love to race in front of their home fans, and the track is a well designed mixture of everything you could want as a driver, fan and team.
Comprising a modular system that lends itself to a variety of motorsports, the track is easily divided into various parts to accommodate the varying needs of different events, and indeed it is this omni-purpose approach that looks set to make it a popular stop on many a racing calendar. Formula 1 just won’t be amongst them. “The track will certainly be approved for Formula 1, but a Grand Prix has never been in the plans,” Kari O. Sohlberg of Finland’s national governing body for motorsport says franklly. And there are other options of nearly as much prestige.
F1 Race Not A Realistic Goal
This will almost certainly include Rally Cross, but the big prize for the track is bidding to be a host of a round of the MotoGp season. With three classes of two-wheeled insanity MotoGp is a hugely followed sport often sadly ignored by the media, for whom motorsport is ever less interesting year on year it would seem. Sohlberg is cognizant of the situation but still believes that it’s a far more attractive deal for the track, a track that riders would enjoy getting to grips with.
“An F1 race is not a realistic goal because the amount of money required every year is so great that it would not be possible to pay for the rights.” Mr. Sohlberg admits, “This kind of money cannot be found today in Finland. Instead, MotoGP and Superbikes, and series such as GP2, GP3 and DTM fit perfectly with our plans.” And with a modern circuit with up to date facilities you can’t help thinking that Formula 1 might just be missing out, especially when you get a look at the circuit from the air.
Finland has had three world champions in F1 but until now hasn’t had the facility to hold an F1 race, and now it does, F1 has priced itself out of the market to some degree, certainly in Europe, as the Germans will attest, both the Nurburgring and Hockenheimring unwilling to host the event this year leaving the nation without a Grand Prix for the first time since 1960. Perhaps Finland will join the list of people gambling news of Bernie stepping down would herald a change in policies and fiscal constraints.
The 2015 Calendar rolls on to Spain next where Rosberg will try not to over heat, Hamilton will be looking to continue to cruise towards another title and the Ferraris will be right on the tail of both trying to upset the Mercedes juggernaut which is still 1.01 to win the constructors title leaving the red cars at 13.00 and everyone else 501.00 or more. Such certainty so early in the season does no one any good, well, no one but Hamilton and Mercedes I suppose, and perhaps a Grand Prix in Finland couldn’t hurt.