PHUKET: Whether Phuket is really an option for a Formula One Grand Prix is likely to be decided with the speed of a Sebastian Vettel Red Bull racing tyre change.
Thailand's Minister for Tourism and Sport, Somsak Pureesrisak, has said Phuket is the leading contender - perhaps the only contender - for a GP in Thailand in 2015, according to the Bangkok Post.
By chance, the minister is scheduled to visit Phuket tomorrow for a grand summit to address the issue of what needs to be done to preserve and enhance Phuket's beaches.
It's a fairly safe bet that journalists will be as keen to question Khun Somsak about the prospect of the world's top drivers burning rubber in Thepkasattri Road as they are about the quality of the sea water at Patong.
Having seen close up the introduction of the GP to Melbourne a long time ago, I can say that Phuket's chances of hosting a Grand Prix are minimal.
If the grand prix wasn't wanted in Bangkok, it's even less likely to be wanted on Phuket. Residents on Phuket vote yellow as in go slow, not Ferrari red.
There is just one chance, the kind of option that a brave driver might take on a swirling s-bend if he sees a glimmer of hope of taking on the race leader.
The deal would be this: give Phuket a proper public transport system by 2015, and the F1 on Phuket could be the pride of all Thailand.
I can't think of another host city for the F1 circuit where the public transport consists of poorly fitted tuk-tuks and taxis and delightful but antiquated two-bench seung taew buses.
Grands Prix are run in sophisticated cities with efficient public transport systems. For decades, successive governments in Bangkok have ignored Phuket's infrastructure needs.
Over the next few days, the whole of Thailand is likely to learn just how far behind Phuket lags compared to other sophisticated international destinations around the world.
As a new minister who wants to priorise tourism safety and security, we wish Khun Somsak every success.
World-class cities with great facilities struggle to cope with the massive responsibilities of shifting crowds of 100,000 or more over several days, of erecting and dismantling the massive team requirements for a GP, and of ensuring a successful bid by organising a proper track.
Phuket, forlorn and forgotten by Bangkok until the government wants something, has about as much chance of staging a GP as a tuk-tuk has of climbing Everest.