Abu Dhabi: The dwindling interest from European cities to host the Formula 1 powerboating world championship races have become a cause of concern for Nicolo Di San Germano, the International Promoter of UIM (Internatioal Federation of Marine Sports) races.
A familiar figure in the powerboating world, San Germano has organised F1 races in as many as 12 cities not so long ago — a number that has come down to six. The last three reasons have witnessed a marked decline in interest and, while Brazil has emerged as a new venue, Italy, France and Portugal have stopped organising events.
The calendar for the new season shows only one stop in Europe for the UIM F1 World Championship — in the Ukrainian capital Kiev. While attending the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix recently, San Germano spoke to Gulf News about the future of Formula 1 powerboating and the problems it faces.
Gulf News: Where is Europe in this year’s calendar?
Nicolo Di San Germano: The old famous sites of the championship in France, Italy and Portugal did not apply for the series for some time. It is essential for us, the promoters, that the cities or countries who apply for hosting the competition meet certain conditions, specially the guarantee money factor, which is approximately about $1 million (Dh3.67 million).
Despite the absence of the traditional venues in Europe, we have a successful season and exciting races and we also have new sites. There are already five sites who have confirmed their applications for next year’s races even before the end of the 2013 championship, which I regard as a healthy sign. This, however, does not mean we will not keep the option open for the old sites to renew our relationship with them.
When you are in charge of only the F1 races, there were no less than 10 races annually if not more. Now you have more responsibilities and more races on and offshore, does that take away some of the attention you used to give to the F1 races?
Of course not. All different races and championships have the same attention and we have achieved great success in different championships on and offshore, which encouraged the UIM to give us more races to promote judging by the success we achieved basically in organising the F1 races.
We are working hard on all fronts to improve and develop the different competitions by increasing the number of races and increasing the excitement and quality of the competitions. The F1 comes on top of our top priority list.
What do you expect for next year’s calendar?
We already have five confirmations from Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, China, Brazil and Qatar to host F1 races in the new year. We are also expecting the confirmation from Kiev and few other cities soon. I strongly hope that the number of races will increase in the new season.