A second proposal for a Formula One race in London emerged on Thursday as the sport’s commercial rights-holder, Bernie Ecclestone, said he would consider giving financial backing to the plan.
Staging a London Grand Prix has been one of Ecclestone’s long-held ambitions and Santander, title sponsor of Silverstone’s British Grand Prix, has unveiled a computer simulation of how a lap of a circuit in the city centre would appear on television. The banking group has also commissioned an evaluation of a potential venue, which would comprise a three-mile circuit taking in some of London’s most iconic landmarks.
While the proposal remains just that, Ecclestone has suggested that he thinks it makes financial sense – and would be willing to fund it himself. “With the way things are, maybe we would front it and put the money up for it,” he told The Times. “If we got the okay and everything was fine, I think we could do that. Think what it would do for tourism. It would be fantastic, good for London, good for England – a lot better than the Olympics.”
The proposal comes just days after an ambitious plan to stage a race around the Olympic Stadium was revealed as one of four bids being considered for the legacy usage of London 2012’s showpiece venue. With Northamptonshire venue Silverstone currently two years into a 17-year deal to host the sport’s British Grand Prix, the bid has been put forward by London-based company Intelligent Transport Solutions Ltd following discussions with Ecclestone.
Santander’s new proposal was unveiled at a launch event for next weekend’s British GP. London Mayor Boris Johnson said he was “broadly positive providing we can satisfy the air quality and noise issues”.
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New London GP plan emerges