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An F1 race through historical Bangkok

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The route of the proposed Bangkok F1 Grand Prix event would go through the heart of historical Bangkok, giving viewers the chance to see famous landmarks such as the Grand Palace, Victory Monument and Temple of Dawn. Map by Saksith Saiyasombut/ 

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Map of proposed Bangkok F1 route reproduced with permission from map-maker Saksith Saiyasombut.

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An F1 race through historical Bangkok

Talk is cheap, they say, and many people haven't taken the idea of holding a Formula 1 (F1) auto race in Bangkok very seriously – until now, that is.

Last week, Kanokphand Chulakasem, governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand, announced that a route had been chosen for a race that would take place in the 2015 F1 season.

He said that the committee on the circuit for the country's inaugural Grand Prix had approved a 5.995km route suggested by foreign experts.

The sight of F1 cars zipping through the heart of Bangkok may become a reality in 2015. Bangkok Post file photo.

The route would go through the heart of historical Bangkok, giving spectators and TV viewers the chance to see several tourist spots such as the Grand Palace, Victory Monument and Temple of Dawn, Mr Kanokphand said.

It would start and finish at the Royal Thai Naval Dockyard (Rat Woradit Pier), and would go along Maha That Road, Na Phra Lan Road, Na Phra That Road, Chakrabongse Road, Phra Sumen Road, Ratchadamnoen Avenue, Maha Chai Road and Thai Wang Road.

Makeshift stands could be built in several areas along the route and would be able to accommodate about 150,000 people, according to the governor.

"As the starting and finishing point would be on the bank of the Chao Phraya River, we may be able to build the main stands in the river. It would also be convenient for transportation of equipment," he said.

"Only a small group of residents would be affected by the proposed route."

Since F1’s top executive Bernie Ecclestone has voiced his support for a Bangkok Grand Prix on several occasions, the race may happen. But questions remain.

Writing for the Asian Correspondent website, Saksith Saiyasombut (,notes that most of the talk has come from Thai officials with no official response from F1 authorities.

The route would have to undergo stringent safety checks and there is no guarantee it will be approved. And since preparations for a Grand Prix race are likely to be long and complex, can Bangkok really withstand a shutdown of a key area of the city for several weeks? Then, of course, there is the question of who will pay for it all. 

talk is cheap – (idiom) It is easy to talk about something, but not so easy to do it
route – the roads used to go from one place to another เส้นทาง
circuit – a track for cars or motorcycles to race around เส้นทางครบรอบ
inaugural – first, and marking the beginning of something important,  เกี่ยวกับการริเริ่ม
Grand Prix – each race in the Formula One World Championships season is called a Grand Prix
approve – to give official permission อนุมัต
spectator – a person who watches an activity without taking part ผู้เข้าชม
dockyard – an area with docks (= the place where ships are loaded and unloaded in a port) and equipment for building and repairing ships บริเวรอู่เรือ
makeshift – used temporarily for a particular purpose  ซึ่งทดแทนชั่วคราว, สำหรับใช้ชั่วคราว
stands – raised areas, often part of a sports stadium, where people sit or stand to watch a match or event ที่นั่งชมการแสดง
accommodate – to provide enough space for something or someone บรรจุ, จัดที่ให้
bank – a raised area of land along the side of a river  ริมฝั่งแม่น้ำ
convenient – easy to do, or not causing problems or difficulties สะดวก
residents – people who live in a particular area ประชาชนที่อาศัยในท้องที่
proposed – suggested as an idea for a group to consider ถูกเสนอ
executive – a senior manager in a business or other organisation ผู้บริหาร
occasion – a time at which something happens ครั้ง
authorities – people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
undergo – to experience something, especially something that is unpleasant but necessary ผ่าน ประสบ
stringent – (of a rule, law, etc.) very strict and that must be obeyed  เข้มงวด
guarantee – a promise that something will be done or will happen คำรับรอง, การประกัน
complex – having a lot of details or small parts that make it difficult to understand or deal with ซับซ้อน
withstand – to be strong enough not to be hurt or damaged by extreme conditions, the use of force, etc. ทนต่อ, ต้านทานต่อ
key – most important  ที่สำคัญ

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