JUNE 29, 2012
London GP: just a dream?
A few days after there was talk of turning the Olympic Stadium into an F1 venue after this summer's London Games, British GP sponsor Santander hosted an event at the RAC Club in Pall Mall showing what a London GP encompassing many of the British capital's most famous landmarks could look like.
Both Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were on hand to make enthusiastic noises as a potential circuit was displayed with the aid of computer generated imagery, but this is not the first time that plans for a potential London GP have been mooted and some viewed it as a simple Santander PR stunt.
There is no chance of such a project receiving public funding in the UK but Bernie Ecclestone has said that if a go-ahead was forthcoming, F1 may be able to fund it and make back the money through ticket sales, advertising and TV rights, such would be the interest in the race.
"It would be fantastic; good for London, good for England -- a lot better than the Olympics," Ecclestone said.
London mayor Boris Johnson attended the event and added: "I'm always interested in projects that attract jobs and bring growth if there is a good economic race.
Formula One has gone in the direction of city-based races in recent years, with Valencia, Singapore and the projected New Jersey race all examples.
An F1 demonstration in Regent Street some years ago was well-attended but it remains to be seen whether there is real substance to any London plans or whether a grand prix circuit passing Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square and the London Eye, remains just a dream.