Libyan Formula 1 Grand Prix?

Sounds bizarre, right? Actually, Libya is no stranger to motor racing at all. In 1925, racing took place at the Mellaha circuit near Tripoli. In 1933, the Italians (who had colonized Libya) built a track where they staged the Tripoli Grand Prix until 1940. The Paris-Dakar Rally also has had some stages which cut through Libya.

Where things get interesting is in 2004, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi sent Libyan Prime Minister Shukri Mohammed Ghanem to attend the F1 Bahrain Grand Prix. About a few months later, a company called Tripoli Grand Prix Promotions Ltd was formed in the United Kingdom with the aim of establishing a Libyan Grand Prix; it was unsuccessful and supposedly ended operations two years later.

The McLaren F1 team were also approached at one point by a consortium from Libya which were interested in sponsoring the team. That deal obviously never materialized.

It’s a no-brainer that the implementation of a Formula 1 grand prix would have been a great way for Gaddafi to mend Libya’s relationship with the rest of the world. Prior to his downfall, the country’s economy was strengthening, while tourism was also somewhat blossoming. Guess we’ll never know what could have been.

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3 Comments on “Libyan Formula 1 Grand Prix?”

  1. Hussain Says:

    that would have been very strange! having F1 race in Gaddafi era!

  2. Miss Good Egg Says:

    Why not? The sad part is that many of the tyrannies have so much wealth and potential but the energy is wasted elsewhere :/

  3. el wehbi Says:

    @Hussain: Even stranger would have been the outfit he would have worn at the race.

    @Miss Good Egg: Hence why they are classified as tyrants.


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