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DECEMBER 13, 2004

The London Grand Prix

The plans for a Grand Prix in London have not disappeared despite the news that the British Grand Prix has been secured for the next five years. London's mayor Ken Livingstone is still looking for a way to raise the money to do a deal with Bernie Ecclestone. He says that he would sign a deal if the money was there. Ecclestone said that there is no reason why there could not be two Grands Prix in Britain, just as there are two events in Germany and in Italy. The only problem would be fitting everything into the F1 calendar which has expanded to 19 races and will probably go to 20 in 2006. London is bidding for the 2012 Olympic Games but there seems little chance that the bid will be successful as Paris is the strong favourite for the Games. That decision will be made by the International Olympic Committee at its 117th session in Singapore in July.

However there are already voices pointing out that London is not going to win.

Former sports minister Kate Hoey says that the city is wasting money with the bid because it is not going to win the Games.

"I think the inevitable thing over the next six months will be the hype about the London Olympic bid and how we are going to win it by miles," Hoey said, "and the inevitability is that Paris will win. Longer term we should host an Olympics Games sometime but not at the moment because I don't think we are ready. We don't deserve it and Paris does. I don't believe we should be wasting all the millions of pounds we are going to waste. If we want to regenerate London, regenerate London, but don't wait for 123 International Olympic Committee members to decide we're going to regenerate it."

London, Paris, Madrid, New York and Moscow are in the running for the Games.

The likely outcome is that if London does not win the bid, the attention will turn to other projects and a London Grand Prix could be one of them.