F1 Monaco GP Notebook: Series Targeting Southeast Asia

f1 grand prix of monaco 2024
F1 Monaco GP Notebook: Series Targeting SE AsiaNurPhoto - Getty Images

Formula 1 has added several new events in recent years with the Middle East (Qatar, Saudi Arabia) and the United States (Miami, Las Vegas) key areas of growth post-pandemic, while elsewhere Spain’s Grand Prix will relocate to Madrid beginning in 2026.

Asia has been a slower region of growth, but Formula 1 was boosted this year by its successful return to China, while Singapore and Japan have long-term arrangements.

Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei was on the ground in Monaco this past weekend and confirmed that Southeast Asia is a region Formula 1 is exploring for a potential Grand Prix. It comes after Korean officials visited Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali at the Japanese GP in April, while Thailand’s Prime Minister took a trip to Imola earlier this month as he evaluates the feasibility of an event in Bangkok from 2027 or 2028.


“There’s a lot of interest across Asia, we have interest from many cities, but in Asia: Thailand, Seoul, we’ve had interest from Indonesia,” Maffei said, revealing the last of those as a candidate. “There are lots of places which want a Formula 1 race and we really looked at the intersection of where our fans are, where they could be, who could run a great race and who could frankly afford a race, and all the intersection of those three circles, and I think you could very easily see a second one in South East Asia.”

Neither Thailand nor Indonesia—which have MotoGP rounds at permanent facilities—have hosted Formula 1 races, while Korea featured from 2010-13 at the unloved Mokpo circuit, which would not be revived if a fresh deal was struck.

f1 grand prix of monaco 2024
Yuki Tsunoda has made a push toward a contract extension with a series of good finishes.NurPhoto - Getty Images

RB Unlikely to Rush 2025 Driver Decision

RB is unlikely to hurry its driver call for 2025, according to CEO Peter Bayer.

RB currently fields Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo, and the drivers have had contrasting fortunes so far in 2024. Courtesy of five top-10 finishes, the impressive Tsunoda has scored 19 points to Ricciardo’s five. Tsunoda has a streak of points across the last three Grands Prix, while Ricciardo’s sole points this season came in Miami’s Sprint Race.

Despite Tsunoda’s results, Red Bull Racing has remained cool to the prospect of a promotion, while for 2025 RB has a case of three into two, with reserve Liam Lawson striving for a ride.

“I think we're very happy with both of our drivers,” said Bayer. “And honestly, we're not wasting time with discussing ifs and whens. We have a very strong line-up. We have a great reserve driver. We have great talent coming through F2, F3. And currently, it's all about focusing on performance

“We really do not discuss the 2025 situation, perhaps because we're in a luxury situation of having that strong grassroot pyramid behind us. And so the focus is really on track and on the next couple of races until definitely the summer break.”

f1 grand prix of the netherlands
Formula 1 continues to seek the perfect wet-weather package.NurPhoto - Getty Images

Formula 1 Back to Drawing Board on Wet Weather

Formula 1’s governing body, the FIA, is heading back to the drawing board as it continues to evaluate the feasibility of introducing a wet weather package.

The championship has been keen to assess whether spray in wet conditions can be reduced, particularly in the ground effect era, where the floor produces downforce and causes massive wet-weather trails that severely reduces visibility for drivers.

The situation has also been accentuated by the manner in which Formula 1 cars have got bigger over the years, along with wider tires, which was a key element the wheel covers were hoping to alleviate.

Ungainly wheel covers have been given tryouts in private testing, with an evolution of them most recently by Ferrari at its Fiorano facility, but the impact of these were understood to be limited, and the concept of covers over the wheels has been abandoned.

The FIA has not completely given up on the project and will continue to evaluate potential remedies to reduce spray in severely wet conditions.

formula 2 championship round 5 monte carlo feature race
Zak O’Sullivan came up a Formula 2 winner in Monaco.Joe Portlock - Formula 1 - Getty Images

O’Sullivan Shocks in F2 as Mini stars

Williams junior Zak O’Sullivan took a surprise victory in the Formula 2 Feature Race in Monaco as a bold strategy paid off. O’Sullivan started a lowly 15th on the grid but stayed out on track longer than his rivals and benefited in the closing stages of the 42-lap race when a Virtual Safety Car was required.

O’Sullivan ducked into the pit lane, limited the time loss due to the VSC, and emerged in front. Isack Hadjar, who had been on course for a third successive Feature Race victory, had to settle for second position, with new championship leader Paul Aron third.

In Formula 3, Alpine junior Gabriele Mini claimed the lead of a championship that remains relatively open. The Italian made it back-to-back Monaco Feature Race victories with a commanding drive from pole position, becoming the eighth different winner from the opening eight races of the year. Mini holds a slender title advantage of five points over Williams junior Luke Browning.