Will This Southeast Asian State Joins The Formula One Calendar, After Vietnam In 2020?
Formula One has applied for a trademark to the name ‘Philippine Grand Prix’ in a move which could see it host its first-ever race in the Southeast Asian country, The Independent online portal reports.
It is the first time that the Philippines has ever been publicly linked with an F1 race and it comes at a time when the country is making a major push into motorsport by building a track outside its capital city Manila.
F1 filed the trademark application with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines in seven categories including sports events, broadcasting, clothing and printed products. It was made on 7 January along with a trademark application for ‘Manila Grand Prix’ suggesting that the city could be home to the race if it gets the green light.
Applying for a trademark is a crucial step in the process of bringing a race to the calendar. F1’s rights to the names will be checked by the trademark authorities and if they decide in its favour it will have the power to stop anyone else from using them.
F1 owns trademarks to the names of most of the races which are currently on its calendar as well as ones it is planning. It usually makes the applications long before its negotiations break cover so that it is the first to stake its claim.
Likewise, F1’s application for the name ‘Formula 1 Grand Prix of Miami’ was made in November 2017, six months before it announced that it was in talks about hosting a race on the streets of the city.
It was due to be held this year but opposition from locals put the brakes on the plan which shows that a trademark application is not a guarantee that a race will take place.
Money is usually the biggest roadblock as the cost of hosting a race on a permanent track comes to an estimated £16.7m annually. It accelerates to around £41.7m every year for a street race as the organiser needs to rent fencing, grandstands and other structures to turn public roads into a race track.
Though the uncertainties are still here and there especially as it is only 900 miles away from Vietnam where F1 will race for the first time in 2020, The Independent reported in 2021 a new 3.1 mile track on the outskirts of Manila is due to open its doors.
Called the Pradera Verde Racing Circuit, it is part of a complex which also includes a golf course, wakeboard park, hotel, and dirt track where the Philippine Rallycross Series holds its events.
It is backed by Rallycross boss Rodolfo Pineda and has been designed by Hermann Tilke, the German architect behind many F1’s tracks. However, his new creation in the Philippines is due to be built to a lower specification which could host F1’s two-wheeled counterpart MotoGP.
So if the plans for a Philippine Grand Prix get to the finish line, a street race in Manila seems all but a racing certainty.
Source : The Independent