The Bolivarian Socialist Grand Prix of Venezuela

The proposed circuit at La Carlota. Multiple potholes in the asphalt, to represent Venezuelan tradition, will be added later.

A new plan for the future use of the Air Force Base known as La Carlota, in the heart of Caracas, was presented by the government: it consists of a park housing a Formula 1-oriented race track.

Looks like the cement plant currently located there won’t be around for long, but what’s behind this new proposal to end the neverending story of La Carlota?

Can you imagine this plan being announced if Pastor Maldonado hadn’t reached his  first victory in F1 after the 66 million dollars already invested on him by PDVSA?

The plan is to have it ready by 2016, but that doesn’t mean a Venezuelan GP will have a secured spot in the F1 calendar. A representative of the FIA, which runs Formula 1, said that it would take years to give its final approval, even if they gave an initial OK to the idea.

But could it work? The Minister of State for the Revolutionary Transformation of the Great Caracas (yes, that’s his job title), Farruco Sesto gave his word about the viability of this project: “We won’t screw up in technical terms”. That’s a relief, especially after what happened in Ciudad Caribia.

What’s next, the Dakar Rally to be held on the Lara-ZuliaEl exito esta garantizado...

Not that there’s so much reason to worry: the F1 circuit plan will probably end up joining a long list of Carlota phantasmagoria, like that wave machine they wanted to put in, or the invisible ecological walkway, or the thousands of Chinese-designed apartments. Just watch this space: if the Vinotinto qualify for Brazil 2014, what do you want to bet they’ll be announced a 135,000 seat Maracaná of the North for La Carlota this time next year?

35 thoughts on “The Bolivarian Socialist Grand Prix of Venezuela

  1. Man, you guys are no fun. Don’t you like F1 any more?

    This what happens when boys grow up and become grumpy old men.

    • ¿?
      I like space. We are close to the equator, at least as good position as Guyana, where ESA launches from. You are not going to see me asking for a spaceport inside Caracas built with public money

      • I think Venezuela can spare a few bob for a GP track. Do you think every other big economy can have one except Venezuela?

        • What is in discussion here, is not the track, it’s its location.

          And you are welcome to defend your pet projects financed with the money of everybody.

          • I think that more of the location the discussion is that as all the other promises along 10 years this one is not going to happen…and if it happens think about the ecological effect of having the GP track in La Carlota…if this is a “humanista” government as they say they should be thinking of ways for people in Caracas enjoy a open space without use of any oil/gas etc…

          • I’m thinking there’s no reason Circuit Caracas can’t co-exist with Spaceport Caracas. Everyone will be happy, much money will be made, I see thousands in the stands waiting for the red-lights to go out while at the same time counting down for the Peaceful Rocket Launch with a Real Satellite and souevinirs for all.

              • You really have potential for a ministerial position if Chávez does not crack up and wins the elections.

      • My jaw just dropped to the floor. This guy is the responsible for the urban planning of Caracas. All hope is lost.

      • what was even more troubling than the drawings, was the text:
        “A veces, en el cansancio de la inactividad y no sabiendo que hacer con el no hacer, uno se entretiene en la computadora dibujando algo con ayuda de ese programita tan elemental llamado paint. Es divertido.”

    • I thought it had to be one of his kids until I saw the nude.

      This is about the intellectual level of Chavismo along with the mathematics experts (3 x 5 = 18)

      • Imperialist lackey that you are, even you must admit that 3 x 5 would indeed equal 18 in a world with Justice and Equality and Walking-around Money.

    • I don’t think this is crazy at all: “Una Manzana Con Diez Casas” is a perfect depiction of his Urban Planning; “Mujer (Simbolo de Venezuela-nude from poverty, of course) Reposando Sobre Pajaro (Rojo, of course=”La Revolucion”) Que Empolla (Forever waiting for the results that never come); and “Gato Comiendo Sardinas” = The “Pueblo”, of course, black-faced from choking on those fine fish bones of the only food they can afford to eat!!

  2. This one gets me.
    Just a couple of months ago, I got an email inviting architects to participate in an inetrnational competition of ideas for the “Parque La Carlota”, organized primarily by the Alcaldia Metropolitana, y otros organismos, incluyendo Inparques and the Colegio de Arquitectos.
    To me it looked the way a competition it’s supposed to be. There is serious professionals involved that I admire a lot since my time as a FAU student (Marco Negron to name one) so I got pretty excited about it.

    http://www.concursolacarlota.com/en/aspectos-generales/antecedentes/

    This stupid plan is a complete kick in the nuts with a military boot.

  3. I don’t have anything against making an F1 track in Venezuela. But for Christ sake, do you have to build it in the already most congested place in the nation? Why not Pto, Ordaz, San Carlos, Ciudad Bolivar, etc. There are some many places that need development boosters like an F1 track.

    • Remodeling the already existing circuits of San Carlos or Turagua would be cheaper and better, but the Chavernment motto says otherwise: “Inventamos y erramos”.

    • I’m with you on this. It’s great to get an F1 track (even though I don’t follow F1.) You’re right that it should be done elsewhere.

      • Just what Venezuela needs–an F1 track, while the Country is wallowing in misery–unless you mean more circo for the serfs–we HAVE been missing “Alo Presidente” lately!!!

  4. Hard to believe that some people are actually in favor of this idea. I guess that’s why Venezuela is the way it is right now. People have no place to live, more Universities and School are needed, Prisons are completely overcrowded, and so and so. But some of you can only think about how cool it would be to have a F1 track in Caracas. Hell, even a new Baseball stadium would be a better idea.

    Even if Capriles wins, people with this lack of social conscience are gonna be a problem for Venezuela.

    • Add to this that the amount of money being wasted on sponsoring Maldonado equals the budget of the Simón Bolívar University.

    • “Even if Capriles wins, people with this lack of social conscience are gonna be a problem for Venezuela.”

      I would nominate this to the title of greatest understatement of ALL the history of Venezuela.

  5. Un patio de bolas criollas y mesas de dominó no estaría mas de acuerdo con la mentalidad de esta gente…?

  6. “What’s next, the Dakar Rally to be held on the Lara-Zulia? ”

    Oh dear, the line of the month in any blog anywhere. That is, for those of us who had to drive through it……..

    ¡Te botaste Gustavo!

    • Thanks, Daniel. When I lived in Maracaibo I had to travel constantly in bus between there and Barquisimeto. Not a experience I want to repeat anytime soon.

      Right now, the Lara-Zulia is having some serious competition from the Moron-La Raya. That road give me nightmares of how bad it is.

  7. I can’t cease to be amazed by the ingenuity of some people.

    The so-called “neverending story of La Carlota” is a freakin’ red herring with a lot of dolts who love to follow suit. Chavez himself introduced the subject into public opinion in 2001 to justify the retirement of private planes from the airbase (quote: “planes owned by the Oligarchy”) which in the end meant a loss of income for the Comandancia General de Aviación. Now the issue has become a button that he presses whenever he feels like it, especially after having disafforested the right ending of the runway to be available for the craziest incidents.

    Contrary to what some people believe, the fact of the matter is the airbase is functioning as always. As I write this post two planes departed from La Carlota four hours ago.

    While the green park project seems to be a compelling idea, it’s utterly flawed. Ask any geologist and they will tell you how fragile the Caracas valley is, and so far no measures have been implemented to increase the level of security of the Caracas Metropolitan Area in case of natural disasters. Should it happen, God forbid, no Lockheed C-130 nor Ilyushin Il-76 would be able to land and provide help if a full runway wasn’t available in the city. If in doubt, the 1967 earthquake and the 1999 mudslides can quite prove it.

    Besides El Ávila, there are 17 parks in Caracas in less than desirable conditions. Doesn’t anyone seem to give a damn about them?

  8. I saw Maldonado sweating and melting on cameras after sunday’s valencia race. At least the 66 mill gained a machucado English :p

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