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Meanwhile in Greece

NEWS STORY
31/08/2015

Dr. Athanassios Papatheodorou, the driving force behind a project (DielpisFormula1) to take F1 to Greece, hasn't given up on the idea, despite the country's much-publicised financial situation.

First mooted in 2011, the proposal for a race in Piraeus, the largest passenger port in Europe and third largest in the world, located around 10 miles from Athens, has seen representatives meet with senior officials from the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone.

While things appeared to have gone quiet, understandable considering the country's ongoing financial situation, Papatheodorou insists it might yet happen.

"There have been several meetings (with Ecclestone)," he told F1WEB.it. "From the first meeting, which was held during the Monaco weekend in May 2012, we covered all his questions and he stated that he agrees with the proposal of DielpisFormula1, he asked that we meet his demands, which at that time were mainly political and legal issues.

"Since then there have been private meetings and continuous communication by email," he continued. "He also officially placed his opinion in major international media on questions made to him according the strong mood of Greece, stating that he supports it and that it depends mostly on our preparation and planning.

"We have also informed the president of the FIA, Jean Todt, who immediately said he was a positive supporter of our proposal, and forwarded the application file to the technical department of the FIA to analyse in order to implement the project.

"Greece is in a period of instability due to political, cultural and economic crisis of the past five years," admitted Papatheodorou. "Contact was made with Tsipras’ government, but the elections were proclaimed and we now wait until after 20 September, which will probably again take time for the prime minister to trigger the necessary legislative procedures in order for Greece to be ready for a first formal agreement with Bernie Ecclestone in October."

Looking to potential investors in the project, he said: "The design includes many facilities outside the city circuit such as hotels, casinos, marina, museums, mall etc. This makes the investment viable and highly tempting for anyone who wants to invest and have a Formula 1 race.

"Deloitte, which has experience from many tracks around the world, has prepared a feasibility study of the project which shows that the investment is viable with very short payback of capital invested."

Sadly, one only has to look at the fate of the Istanbul Park Circuit, now a "used car lot", to realise that this is one gift of an investment from the Greeks that one should probably ignore… at least for now.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by The stogie, 04/09/2015 3:56

"The problem with a race in Athens is that the spectators would have to wear face masks to filter out all the smog!!"

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2. Posted by Carugatese, 01/09/2015 14:45

"So Tsipras "will probably again take time to trigger the necessary legislative procedures in order for Greece to be ready for a first formal agreement with Bernie Ecclestone in October." I wanna see him with Bernie!"

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3. Posted by Jet Jockey, 01/09/2015 1:53

"Greece is bankrupt! How can the government even think of subsidizing such an event? If I were Greek, I'd be pretty pissed off to see money go to a multi Billionaires club."

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4. Posted by TokyoAussie, 31/08/2015 17:18

"Greece wanting to fork out for an F1 race makes no financial sense. Greece on an everyday basis makes no financial sense. To wit, they are made for each other. "

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5. Posted by GordonW, 31/08/2015 15:52

"This would be good to replace Baku in Azerbaijan as the European Grand Prix. Azerbaijan cannot possibly be considered to be "in Europe" as it is as far to the east of the Bosphorus as London is to the west. The "dividing line" between Europe and Asia has been commonly accepted as Istanbul / Constantinople for hundreds of years....."

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6. Posted by You Started It!!, 31/08/2015 12:55

"Suddenly I don't feel sorry for Greece!
1) Bernie should pay each circuit and country to hold a race,not the other way round.
2) People that do business with Bernie rarely come out on top. Take note from the other circuits that now DON'T hoist events!
3) If you can afford to do this....... ( Fill in the blanks )"

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