Formula 1 race bypasses Athens

The government is weighing its options regarding the possible location of Greece’s first Formula 1 racing track, but yesterday ruled out the possibility of hosting the sporting event in residential Athens. Environment Minister Giorgos Souflias denied reports that the racing circuit will be established at the site of the capital’s previous international airport at Hellenikon, which was transformed into a sports complex for the Olympic Games last year. The old airport, in southeastern Athens, is expected to be transformed into a metropolitan park which the government claims will be the biggest in Europe. «In an Athens full of cement and asphalt, it is inconceivable to think about putting the Formula 1 track at this metropolitan park,» the minister stressed. Tourism Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos said earlier this year that a possible location available for car racing is the Viotia region, about 100 kilometers north of Athens. The move is seen as aiming to duplicate the success of last weekend’s inaugural Formula 1 race in Istanbul.