Bernie Ecclestone in talks about a Formula 1 Grand Prix in Helsinki, Finland
The Finnish tabloid Ilta-Sanomat reports that The Formula 1 mogul Bernie Ecclestone would like a Formula 1 Grand Prix to be held in helsinki. According to sources, negotiations about the event were held in July 2015.
Robert Lappalainen, a former racing driver, and his wife Marja-Leena were the organizing force behind the german touring car (DTM) races held in Helsinki in 1995 and 1996. The two races attracted a total of some 250 000 visitors. After the events Bernie had proposed that a Formula 1 be held in Helsinki, but this never realized.
Robert and Marja-Leena later separated, but Marja-Leena has been active in the F1 circles. Lately managing and renting VIP paddocks for Grand Prix weekends. During the Hungarian Grand Prix Bernie Ecclestone had said that Finland has two brilliant drivers in the series, but still no Grand Prix. He agreed that the city would be an ideal location for a Grand Prix.
Marja-Leena Lappalainen is now tasked to study if holding such an event in the city of Helsinki would be feasible. The Helsinki race would be around 4,5 kilometres long. The starting line would be in the Hernesaari region and the rest of the track would be placed along the coast line.
Proposed route for the track illustrated below
This would be the most appealing route and would resemble the Monaco street circuit somewhat. If the city is deemed unsuitable, then the plan is to evaluate other Nordic cities.
The most notable obstacle to the race would be the yearly licensing fee paid to the F1 organization. For the Hungarian GP the fee is estimated to be some 20 Millon Euro. In addition to that the city would need to widen roads along the proposed route. Taking into account the current economic situation in the country these two factors might make the race challenging.
Construction of the pitlane, grand stands and VIP area would add another 30 Million to the bill. Lappalainen believes these could be covered with sponsor donations. The schedule is open, but negotiations for the Helsinki Grand Prix continue.