MAY 25, 1998
San Francisco comes to Monaco
SAN FRANCISCO's bid to host a Formula 1 Grand Prix received a big boost at Monaco when the California city's mayor Willie Brown showed up to watch the Grand Prix and have talks with Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone. Brown is supporting a plan to hold a race through the Presidio, a former military base which is located on the approach road to the Golden Gate Bridge. The Presidio consists of a large area of parkland through which run a number of roads, notably MarineÊDrive, which provides dramatic views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay. The site would be easily accessible from the city as Highway 101 runs right past it and it would be far enough away from residential areas to avoid too much protest. However there is still likely to be a strong environmentalist lobby opposed to any race in city parkland as there was in Melbourne's Albert Park.
There are also problems with the timing of races as running a race in the afternoon in California would mean that most of F1's TV audience would be asleep when the event took place.
While San Francisco is an option for Formula 1, Willie Brown's visit to Monaco is being seen in F1 as a way of pressuring Las Vegas into making a decision rather than a positive move towards a race in San Francisco.