Hot off the heels of MotoGP, Indonesia eyes hosting F1 grand prix in 2024

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen (left) taking on Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc at the Bahrain grand prix on March 20, 2022. Photo: Instagram/F1
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen (left) taking on Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc at the Bahrain grand prix on March 20, 2022. Photo: Instagram/F1

While we’re still talking about a rain shaman and litter at the Mandalika MotoGP grand prix that concluded yesterday, Indonesia is already setting its sights on hosting another world class racing event: Formula 1.

Related — The quirks of Mandalika GP: Rain shaman, litter dominate post-race discussions

One loud call for F1 in Indonesia is coming from a politician at the House of Parliament (DPR), who is pushing the government to make preparations to host the likes of Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, and Lewis Hamilton (if he hasn’t retired by then) in 2024.

“Looking at the success of MotoGP in Mandalika, now is the time for the government to prepare to host F1 in 2024. Two years to prepare for F1 [is enough],” Gerindra politician Andre Rosiade, a member of DPR’s Commission VI that oversees matters related to investment and trade, said today.

Last Thursday, Central Indonesian Motor Association (IMI) Chairman Bambang Soesatyo broke ground for the construction of the Bintan International Circuit in Riau Islands Province, which officials say will meet the requirements to host F1 races.

Construction of the circuit on the increasingly popular holiday island is expected to take around one-and-a-half to two years. Bambang said the project will be fully funded by private investors.

The announcement raised a few eyebrows considering Bintan Island’s proximity to Singapore, which is already a regular fixture in F1.

There certainly is precedent in Indonesia racing against time to host a major race. Construction of Mandalika, for one, was completed in November 2021. The circuit held its inaugural major race, the Superbike World Championship, that same month.

In the more immediate future is Jakarta’s debut hosting of Formula E. After COVID-19 delays, site changes and accusations of unnecessary spending of public money, the race is set to go ahead on June 4, 2022 in North Jakarta’s waterfront complex Ancol.

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