Surprising location for a new Grand Prix in Europe

Will there soon be a Formula 1 Grand Prix in Greece? According to a report in the Greek press, Formula 1 championship racing could be coming to Greece in the not-too-distant future, although no official bid has yet been submitted.

“Formula 1 with the Acropolis in the background” was the idea of former F1 kingpin, British driver Bernie Ecclestone, back in 2008. However, the idea quickly fell through due to the unfavourable global economic climate at the time.


Short history of motorsport

Despite this being another Grand Prix for Europe, something that will no doubt please the core fan base of Formula 1, Greece doesn’t exactly have a particularly prominent place in motorsport history. The only notable motorsport venue currently is the Athens Circuit (formerly the Aftokinitodromio Megaron or Αυτοκινητοδρομίο Μεγαρών in Greek). This was the first permanent circuit to be built in Greece, opening a few months ahead of the country’s only other circuit at Serres.

Located on the outskirts of the town of Megara, the track is just 35k from the capital Athens, hence its change of name in more recent times. The brainchild of Christos Anastasiades, construction of the circuit began on the 200-acre site in 1994 and took four years to complete. It currently hosts various types of car and motorcycle racing.



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Street circuit proposed

But according to the Greek media outlet, a project to host Formula 1 in Greece at Elliniko – more precisely in the streets and metropolitan park of ‘The Ellinikon‘ built by the Lamda Development group – is currently being studied.

According to the above-mentioned media outlet, in the studies submitted by the construction companies, they have been asked to take into account the possibility of “easy” adaptation, in line with the needs of an event on the scale of a motor race and without disturbing residents and businesses.



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The Ellinkon project

In Athens, a colossal $8 billion venture set to become the largest urban regeneration initiative in Europe. This visionary project will breathe new life into the abandoned grounds of the former Athens International Airport, turning it into a sprawling mega-city by the sea.

The driving force behind this transformative project is LAMDA Development, a visionary company with a bold plan to rejuvenate Athens. Central to their vision is the creation of a world-renowned Metropolitan Park that will sprawl across an astonishing 2,000,000 square meters. Additionally, the project aims to enhance public access to the picturesque coastal front, allowing both residents and visitors to savor the stunning views of the sea.

The Ellinikon Project represents a resurrection of sorts for the Athens International Airport, which has lain dormant since 2001. Originally designed to shine during the 2004 Olympics, the airport’s history has been marred by financial struggles and unfulfilled expectations.


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Green light given

The Greek media also reports that the Formula 1 organisers have been astounded by what awaits them at Elliniko and are ready to give the green light even before the construction of the complex is fully completed.

Hellinikon will have all the features of many of the Grand Prix venues already on the F1 calendar, including a seafront, marinas for yachts, greenery, luxury hotels and casinos. It would therefore be an urban race on a non-permanent track.


Since the takeover of Formula 1 in 2016 by the American group Liberty Media, more and more destinations have been added to the calendar of the pinnacle of the sport, in particular urban circuits like the one in Las Vegas this year, which are highly appreciated for their tendency to offer more spectacle than on a permanent track.

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3 responses to “Surprising location for a new Grand Prix in Europe

  1. Who says the Vegas venture will be highly appreciated? Until now i have read nothing but “trash” about it…

  2. Earlier we had Copenhagen Denmark as a possible F1 venue. Which for me would be incredible. But lack of funding and understanding killed it. First track layout was to me the best for racing. The second attempt is good for business. So I guess it just killed itself because of different ideas about it. If you’re not doing it for the F1 Racing you’re not doing it right..

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