News of the Greek government allocating nearly €30 million, pending Parliament ratification, to build a track that will comply with Formula 1 standards were quite a surprise, given the country’s current financial state.
If the Greek Parliament gives the green light, the new track will be built in Halandritsa, near the port of Patras in the Peloponnese.
When questioned by Carscoop, president of the Patras Autodrome consortium Evangelos Floratos said that, even though securing a Formula 1 Grand Prix is very difficult, there are many other forms of racing that could be hosted on the track.
Recently, however, we were contacted by Athanassios Papatheodorou, an architect and project manager of the 'DielpisFormula1' project that also wants to host the Greek Formula 1 Grand Prix at the port of Pireaus, and specifically the municipality of Drapetsona.
Papatheodorou said that, while the construction of the Halandritsa circuit was more than welcome and it actually meets F1 specifications, it doesn’t fulfill other conditions such as access, accommodation, services etc.
Moreover, it has never requested to host a Formula 1 race. On the other hand, the DielpisFormula1 project, which in Papatheodorou’s words is a private initiative “that not only does not burden the Greek citizens but also creates benefits for them”, has already filled a request with FIA and Bernie Ecclestone on November 23, 2011.
The statement adds that, three days later, Ecclestone met with the head of DielpisFormula1 and agreed, in principle, with its proposal, noting that the next step is to find an investor.
Apparently, two cities in Greece are arguing about which one has the right to host the country’s NON EXISTENT Formula 1 Grand Prix in one of two NON EXISTENT tracks. Too bad Aristophanes is long dead, because he'd have a ball with this situation…
Don't get us wrong: it would certainly be nice to see the Greek GP join the F1 calendar. It would probably be even better if dear old Bernie could accommodate both cities and, like Italy, have Greece host not just one, but two F1 races each year.
Our take, though, is that the country faces a plethora of other, much more serious issues that must be resolved before even thinking about investing in a track that may never host an F1 race.
And even if it did, this wouldn’t mean that it would make sense from a financial point of view. If in doubt, just look to the east, in Istanbul and what happened to the Turkish Grand Prix…
By Andrew Tsaousis