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Could a London Grand Prix ever take place?

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Andrew Benson | 20:51 UK time, Thursday, 28 June 2012

Few things in sport are guaranteed to generate publicity like someone high-profile in Formula 1 talking about running a grand prix around the world-famous sites of central London.

After all, what's not to like? Who doesn't think it would make one of the most spectacular sporting events the world had ever seen?

That's clearly what the PR agency which represents one of McLaren's biggest sponsors was thinking when they invited the media to a lavish event at London's RAC Club on Thursday to hear Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button talking about what it might be like to race around such a track.

An expensively produced video was played. Hamilton and Button said all the right things - while being careful not to be seen in any way to diminish the importance of Silverstone as the home of the British Grand Prix.

And a virtual race was staged around the track with teams led by the McLaren drivers featuring Rio Ferdinand, Melanie Sykes, Olympic gold medal winner Amy Williams and Radio One DJ Sarah-Jane Crawford.

All in all, an effective way to generate a bit of extra media coverage ahead of next weekend's ninth round of the world championship at, yes, Silverstone.

In what will doubtless have been fantastic news for the PR agency and sponsor in question, though, the story developed a life of its own even before the event was held, when F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone was quoted in a newspaper saying "maybe we would front it and put the money up for it".

A London race would see the drivers go past a number of iconic monuments.

Within F1, the idea of a race in London in such circumstances has been greeted with intense scepticism. "Of course it's not going to happen," one senior figure said on Thursday. "You know that, and so do I. But it makes a great story, doesn't it?"

On the back of it, there was an inevitable media whirlwind.

The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, was asked about it, and said he was "broadly positive providing we can satisfy the air quality and noise issues".

Which, of course, they never could. So, apart from the fact that it's a PR stunt on which Ecclestone has chosen to offer an opinion, that's the first reason why it is unlikely ever to happen. There are many more.

Before we get into those, however, it is worth mentioning that Ecclestone has tried to make a London Grand Prix work before.

In the mid-noughties, he discussed it with Johnson's predecessor Ken Livingstone and the Live Aid promoter Harvey Goldsmith, focusing on the two biggest hurdles - money and logistics.

Holding such a race would mean closing off part of central London for at least three days and disruption for much longer as preparations were made. There is an inherent cost in that.

Then there was Ecclestone's fee, setting up and securing the circuit, sorting out infrastructure, policing and so on.

On the plus side, a grand prix would showcase London and boost the city's profile, and probably - all things taken into account - bring in more money than it cost. Not that London, as one of the three biggest tourist attractions in the world, needs any extra publicity.

Five years ago almost to the day, I asked Ecclestone about these very plans. "I spoke about it with the mayor a couple of years ago, I think," he said. "He was very supportive. But we came to the conclusion that it would be too expensive."

A source close to Ecclestone expanded on that. "Bernie put a lot of effort into it," he said. "He said they looked long and hard at it and they couldn't make it work.

"There was very little money forthcoming from Livingstone, so it had to be self-supporting and they needed a way of getting people in.

"But there was only room for 30,000 people and, with the money they needed to pay to put it on, that would have meant charging £500 a ticket."

Damon Hill, then the president of the British Racing Drivers' Club which owns Silverstone, added that he had spoken "to Harvey Goldsmith about it a while back. I think it's dead. Logistically, it's a non-starter."

Which brings us back to the hurdles. The first being the idea that Ecclestone would put up the money for it. That's not how it works - venues pay a huge fee to the commercial arm of the sport, which Ecclestone runs, for the privilege of hosting F1.

That's not to say that F1 stumping up the money to host a race is a bad idea. Quite the contrary - some senior figures in the sport believe that's exactly what it should do to establish itself in America.

There is no market F1 wants to crack more than the US but last autumn Ecclestone played a game of brinksmanship with this season's new race in Austin, Texas, saying it would not be put on the calendar unless it paid its fee.

A similar situation seems to be developing with the proposed race in New Jersey overlooking Manhattan - an event F1 needs much more than one in London.

Then there's the fact that Britain already has a very popular grand prix at Silverstone, which has a contract until 2027, with a break clause either side can exercise in 2020.

With countries apparently queuing up for races - Russia is due in 2014, Mexico is also said to be imminent, Thailand is keen - the idea of holding two races in one country is seen very much as a thing of the past.

Equally, this is the second idea for a London Grand Prix that has come up in the past six days - on Friday another newspaper reported plans for a race around the Olympic Stadium.

Asked about this by BBC Sport at last weekend's European Grand Prix, Ecclestone said: "We're talking."

Hardly a surprise, is it, that F1 is so full of cynics?

In F1 - especially where Ecclestone is involved - one learns to never say never. But in a nutshell, what of the London Grand Prix?

Great PR coup? Yes. Likely to happen? Don't hold your breath.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    I would like to see a return of decent tracks, like Spa.

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    I guess in an ideal world, Bernie wants another Monaco. But while that produces iconic imagery, its not great racing.

    Could you expand more on the noise and air quality issues? Not things London is renowned for...

  • Comment number 4.

    and monza

  • Comment number 5.

    http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/a-london-gp-how-about-one-on-mars/


    Read this instead people and ask some real questions.....

  • Comment number 6.

    It's NEVER going to happen...........

  • Comment number 7.

    The lights go out and they're off. It's silly season 2012.

  • Comment number 8.

    I agree with 1, absolute crime not having Spa every year.

  • Comment number 9.

    Would probably still be better than the valancia street race even after the logistics nightmare...

  • Comment number 10.

    The Santander thing, with the track going past Parliament and Buckingham Palace - no way. Absolute joke to even suggest this could be possible.

    The Olympic stadium thing is slightly likely. They could run with the whole "olympic legacy thing" and just put the race track down through the stadium for gp weekend, whilst having the athletics track for the rest of the year. They could then make the rest of the track permanent, and have karting and young driver academy and the like. Would be awesome! Still not going to happen though!

    Agree with everyone else, PLEASE Bernie, we love Spa, can we keep it please?

  • Comment number 11.

    There's the small issue if the RTA to get around.....We badly need closed road Motorsport here in the UK.

  • Comment number 12.

    What F1 doesn't need: A flat street circuit full of 90° turns
    What Bernie needs: People to forget about his dodgy financial dealings.

    What I want (in case anyone cares): A Grand Prix in the Peak District! Massive elevation changes, interesting corners and the pot holes would get filled

  • Comment number 13.

    Doesn't Bernie Ecclestone own the French track that is being lined up to share with Spa and isn't Mr Ecclestone a key stakeholder in the organisation that runs Spa? Can anyone confirm this?

    I read somewhere that Bernie Ecclestone 'paid the banker in order to avoid a tax investigation in Britain and admitted in a German court under immunity that he had done this'. Can anyone confirm this?

    Will there be a tax investigation in Britain? Surely if Bernie Ecclestone is found to owe tax to this country then the money could be used to pay for all of the races to be shown live on terrestrial television.

  • Comment number 14.

    Bernie was watching Cars 2 last week, that was where he got the idea!

    But this street racing idea gets punted around from London, Rio, Las Vegas, NY etc. Las Vegas tried it for Champ Cars in 2007. It is very difficult to pull off in a large modern city, where you essentially have to close the roads for 3-4 days. You spend more money on the logistics of the race and get less in return because you can't have seat 120,000 in grandstands.
    Monaco is a very small city state, that has a long history of staging the race. The only places this could be realistically achieved are fairly modern cities like Doha or Dubai.

  • Comment number 15.

    @2 Benson doesn't want to upset Bernie because he knows how much power he has and he knows Bernie won't hesitate to use it so my gut feeling is I don't expect the BBC to be covering this anytime soon.

  • Comment number 16.

    Well I suppose thats one way of getting them to sort the damned roads and fill in all the potholes! I dont deny it would be a great spectacle but I would prefer to see the retention / reinstation of some classic proven tracks.

  • Comment number 17.

    Even if it went ahead, Sky would snap it up - and we'd get get ¾ of an hour of highlights.

    "Hardly a surprise, is it, that F1 is so full of cynics?"

    I wasn't, Andrew, until the suits at the BBC decided that F! fans in this country don't matter, compared with financing rip-offs of talent shows, and holidays for old footballers in Warsaw and Kyiv...

  • Comment number 18.

    Yep, obvious smokescreen tactics releasing the story, hiding the F1 bribe banker jailed for 8 1/2 years story, totally agree with @2 @12 @13 @15.

    Would be strange for the Germans not to launch an investigation into Ecclestone after the prosecutor was quoted as saying Ecclestone was not the victim of extortion "but the accomplice in an act of bribery"...

    As mentioned earlier Jo Saward covers it in two blogs, one on the London GP and beneath that one on "Gribkowsky gets eight and a half years"
    http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/gribkowsky-gets-eight-and-a-half-years/

    Pitpass covers it in "Ecclestone "far away" from being charged says lawyer"
    http://www.pitpass.com/46667-Ecclestone-is-far-away-from-being-charged-says-lawyer

    James Allen covers it in "German Banker in F1 Corruption Scandal Gets 8 Years"
    http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2012/06/german-banker-in-f1-corruption-scandal-gets-8-year-jail-term/

    Providing the links just incase, as if you type into your search engine "Banker" "corruption" "millions" "bribes", either you'd never be able to find the correct story, or your computer would overload itself in a puff of smoke ;)

    Biggest shame, not good for the image of the sport.

  • Comment number 19.

    moan moan moan moan...give it a rest! depending on the actual layout of the track (presumably they would want to go past landmarks like big ben etc...) it could potentially be superb! never mind all your moaning and whining times change and it would be brilliant! (as long as spa is NEVER removed from the calendar)

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    A London GP would, presumably, be great for sponsors and their PR firms, but not for fans, teams, or the sport in general. Given the predominance of UK-based teams in F1 it would make sense to have a second UK race - at Brands Hatch.

    If "there is no market F1 wants to crack more than the US", then a properly organized series of races in the Americas would be equally sensible - Canada, NYC, Austin, Mexico, Brazil - get the US public used to watching F1 on a regular schedule, not conflicting with existing NASCAR or Indycar events. I'd love to see F1 look into running at some of the truly iconic tracks in the US - Watkins Glen of course, and Indianapolis, and how about investing in improvements to potentially great racing circuits like Road America and Sonoma? How about the Daytona infield course, as used for the 24 hour sports car race there? Of course, Bernie's version of F1 would be highly unlikely to do anything so rational; a couple of plus points for moving the Austin race away from the heat of a Texas summer, but far more minuses putting it on the same day as the final race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series - seems a really good way NOT to engage with US autosports fans in general.

  • Comment number 22.

    Liverpool could make for an interesting circuit. Lots of wide open roads that pass directly in front of the waterfront and land marks, a tunnel spur that would make a great hairpin and the city has a history of managing large events that close roads down for a few days at a time.

  • Comment number 23.

    Not practical in London, However the M60 would make a great track

  • Comment number 24.

    Jeez, will everyone let the BBC/SKY thing go. Try being a cricket fan.

  • Comment number 25.

    To be fair to add to @18 the Beeb reported the real Bernie story as

    Ex-banker jailed for taking bribes from Bernie Ecclestone
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18625773

    Gribkowsky had admitted that prosecution claims that he had corruptly received $41.4m in bank commissions, and a large payment via a family trust from Mr Ecclestone, were "essentially true".

    Seems a bit nuts for Bernie to say "The only alternative was that the British tax authorities followed a case that would have been very expensive for me,"
    "The tax risk would have exceeded £2bn"

    Then surely it's a no brainer for the British tax authorities to investigate.

    How many minimal wage earners would it take to pay £2BILLION in tax, well on £11K annually, with £8K tax free, 20 percent of the remaining £3K is £600, so it would take 3 and a third million minimal wage earners to get £2bn tax.

    No brainer, investigate and put the money to good use to improve every town in the UK.

  • Comment number 26.

    This is not even an F1 story, its a load of Horlick's Great Journalism yet again that can't even see the wood for the trees? A Bull story by a PR company just a month before the Olympics. What's Button doing in preparation for the British GP? Is he seeking psychiatric help? I find it amazing these days how bad the BBC F1 site is as last year they had the small count down clock to the next GP, now all you see are cobwebs and apart from nonsense tweets the site gets a new update every three or four days. Im getting that i don't like F1 in one of the greatest seasons it has ever had and i blame the BBC.

    Why don't you do a real story Andrew and give us the true insight into why the BBC sold out on the people who made the sport what it is?

  • Comment number 27.

    um... NO TO SKY!

  • Comment number 28.

    i would like to see the a1 ring gp back in austria that was a great racers track

  • Comment number 29.

    look at all the old footage for a1 ring on utube its 1 of the great tracks like silvertone and spa it s a must return please. update and renovate its a real mans track, sensational.

  • Comment number 30.

    "With countries apparently queuing up for races - Russia is due in 2014, Mexico is also said to be imminent, Thailand is keen - the idea of holding two races in one country is seen very much as a thing of the past".
    ================================================================
    erm wasn't there 2 grand prixs in Spain this year

  • Comment number 31.

    It is such a bizarre situation where there is so much demand from venues to host events, that they have to pay the organisers to host them! I wish my landlord would pay me to live in her house...

    I can't see a London event happening any time soon, but this does raise an interesting point. There are a few crappy teams that can't afford to do testing. There are a few (actually a lot) of inexperienced drivers on the fringe of F1 drives, and when they get behind the wheel during a race weekend they often cause incidents, and there is more demand for tracks than there are spots on the championship calendar.

    Am I the only one who sees an opportunity for a series of either non-chamionship races, a series of short championships or possibly even a Division 2 of F1 using two year old McLaren's, Ferraris and Red Bulls against this years HRT's and caterhams? You could have the cream of the new talent racing against the likes of Coulthard and Villeneuve.

    Put the races in populous countries in emerging markets where there isn't a local race and it will fill up even if it is not for the wworld championship and keep the paddock minimalist to keep costs down, and lump it together with other popular series - V8's, DTM, GP2.

    I also have an idea for a rocket pack, and potion for everlasting life based on snake oil - investors can contact mme by e-mail!

  • Comment number 32.

    There's a 30mph limit in London and without being able to use the bus lane they'll all end up stuck behind a stroppy cabby.
    There's also the problem of the London emissions tax. Not sure if Bernie would want to negotiate that one.

  • Comment number 33.

    Just a big smokescreen for Mr E as others have said, astounding how many people are taking the suggestion seriously.

    @32 Thats easy, they have KERS and would be classed as hybrids.

  • Comment number 34.

    Do not want.

  • Comment number 35.

    Yes, along with the majority, I see this as nothing more than a smokescreen to deflect attention away from the real important F1 story of the day. The question at the moment is who will arrive first - the UK Taxman or the German Police?

    Joe Saward is mentioned a few times here. Andrew, he rates you as one of the better F1 journalists and has mentioned so on his blog. Why not do some real journalism and find out about financial shenanigans - no offence, but pretty much all you have done here is rehash the press release.

  • Comment number 36.

    No-one wants another boring street circuit - even if it is London. The amount that it would supposedly earn would be more than offset by the economic losses from closing down vast areas of central London for more than a week to put this race on. The UK already has a good race circuit in Silverstone. The street circuits in Valencia and Singapore are already the most boring F1 races each year, why add another one?

  • Comment number 37.

    This will keep Bernie happy - as #35 says rehash the PR but don't do any journalism - that is the BBC way these days. You definitely can't afford to upset Bernie and his allegedly bent friends.

    As for this non story - I don't think London really needs any more publicity, Bernie won't dip his hands in his pockets unless there is a nice payback most likely courtesy of the british tax payer. On top of that as others have said, F1 needs racing not a cavalcade through a city.

  • Comment number 38.

    ggreat idea, bring it on...hyde park lane, hydepark, plenty of room for stands and pit lanes,,,, great idea!!! do it Bernie

  • Comment number 39.

    Unfortunatly F1 has nothing to do with what "we" want.

    Its all about the money and sponsors, and for them a London GP would be huge.
    Still dont think itll happen, it shouldnt happen.

  • Comment number 40.

    @22
    Brilliant idea, but you can just see it now. The cars will enter the pits up on Jacks........it will be the fastest wheels off..........then down onto bricks ;o)

  • Comment number 41.

    Please not another boring street circuit!

  • Comment number 42.

    As much as it looks like quite a good fun track, it's never going to happen. They'd be drivers creaming into the Admiralty Arch (or into each other trying to go through) on every lap, for starters, and I don't see them closing Piccadilly.

  • Comment number 43.

    London GP? Brilliant :-)
    Went to Singapore in 2011 for the race - one of the best times I've ever had, London would be better....

  • Comment number 44.

    For:
    "The London GP - conceived by Santander would attract 300,000 spectators and generate up to £100m for the economy, it was claimed"

    Read:
    "The London GP, giving a Spanish bank free advertising from every lazy journalists, would detract millions from the Jailed Bernie Banker Bribe Tax story, it was claimed"

    I see the McLaren boys are part of the smokescreen instead of trying to work out how to sort their car or how to stop crashing.
    Lewis says "it would attract people who wouldn't drive all the way to Silverstone - in the middle of nowhere - people from all over the country would come"
    Ha, it would be more of a pain to try to get into a mobbed London than Silverstone from almost everywhere in the UK. Why slag off Silverstone? Also it's a tax story smokescreen from someone who moved to dodge paying a single penny in UK tax from millions earned from his UK based company in a trade he learned in the UK. McLaren, Jenson and Lewis should just shut up and drive.

  • Comment number 45.

    It should be given the go ahead to promote fairness towards motorsport. A sport often wrongly made to feel guilty in green matters.

    London is not a green city, far from it.
    London is a stressfully noisy place, with a free for all business in vehicle modification. Noisy motorcycle exhausts being the prime example, with companies promoting and selling race pipes for road bikes that are 4 times louder than standard. There is no legislation to stop this increasing trend.
    Car tuning companies are also allowed to remove Catalytic converters, giving residents poorer air quality and if you think about it is a type of VED fraud, with tax being paid on how clean your car is from the factory only.
    Formula One with it's tightly controlled rules and efficiency, would be welcome.

  • Comment number 46.

    Birmingham has an Act of Parliment that allows it to have street GPs; hence as i understand in certain areas you cannot get a speeding ticket. If Birmingham has the potential to do a F1 GP I don't see why it could not be done in central London with a similar setup to Singapore

  • Comment number 47.

    Yes it would make for a fantastic race but I have to agree with many on here, it will never happen!

    Bring back the Birmingham Super Prix...... now that was a race :)

  • Comment number 48.

    Hi Andrew.
    I noticed few links from your blog to my Formula 1 Dictionary site. I just want to inform you that my site changed the address.
    New address is http://www.formula1-dictionary.net/ .
    Old site will be functional for next few months, but new one is one to link to. There is now 250 articles about technology and driving technique.

    Best regards,
    SEAS

  • Comment number 49.

    If Bernie is behind it YES it could well happen I am still not sure why the Birmingham race has been axed is it because we don't have another Nigel Mansell or perhaps the cost of the tickets. I can't see fans flocking in their thousands paying £500 to see F1 cars hurtle round BIG BEN but then again Silverstone will be sold out with people giving their arm and leg once more to keep Bernie and his boys happy! I think £155 for General Admission is a joke but because I love the Grand Prix theatre I end up paying surely £100 would be a fairer price it would still sell out especially when the Brit's are on show.Would I go to London to watch a race yes I probably would but I might bump into that impressionist person Alistair Mc Gowan you see he dosen't like noise and he certainly dosen't want another run way at Heathrow.Now their's an idea have a race track round Heathrow fasten your seat belts it's going to be a bumpy ride!

  • Comment number 50.

    Even if this were to go ahead (doubt it) would it actually be a good race?

    It's all very well having a nice backdrop for a race but, at the end of the day I watch F1 for the racing and not what famous building they happen to be going past at the time.

    This is why places like Spa have such a following...because it's a brilliant track. The Ardennes forest is, I am sure, a lovelly scenic place but the racing is on the track and not in the scenery.

    I do find it all laughable though that for so many years there have been changes to make tracks super safe and now there seem to be more street circuits on the calendar than ever before. Now we are talking about another one.

    Bottom line is that F1 needs the fan base to keep selling tickets and generating TV audiences. Bernie etc. need to be careful they don't distance themselves from us (the fan base) and start to do things because of how much they can sting the organisers to pay to stage a race. Oh wait.... what am I saying..... that's how F1 runs......silly me.

  • Comment number 51.

    F1 needs to go and race a proper circuits again not boring bits of tarmac in the desert my calendar would be as follows: Australia @ Mount panorama, malaysia, Macau, Spain, Monaco, Canada, USA @ Laguna Seca, France @ Paul Richard Le Castellet, Britain, Germany, Netherlands @ Assen, Austia @ Ostereichring, Hungary, Belgium, Italy, Europe (alternating circuits), Singapore, Japan, Brazil, South Africa @ Kyalami.

    I beleive that they should have races that would attract and excite the spectators.

  • Comment number 52.

    I am also getting fed up of the crazy ideas for GP venues. Spa is almsot cheaper to go to now than Silverstone and if it costs £500 to watch it in London, i would rather pay that much for a B&B in Belgium anyday.

    Bernie will be drawing plans for a grand prix on the moon next...

  • Comment number 53.

    Id imagine the tickets would sell even at 500 quid a pop. It is London afterall, a major financial hub, cultural melting pot and home to some of the richest people in the country. Lets face it, this is about advertising space at a once in a lifetime event in a world famous city, not bums on seats. As a spectacle i think this would be great. I'm don't think it could be sustained year on year but perhaps this race could be titled something like the F1 (insert sponsor here) Showcase GP. In terms of publicity it would rival any of the other major sporting events such as the football World Cup or Olympics, so you could get a sponsor to foot the bill for staging it perhaps? Each year its held in a different country/city. It could be a good way of growing F1 in new territories or testing the marketplace. It would be a bit of a novelty but fun to speculate where they could go next; Paris, Tokyo, Rome, Chicago, Washington DC, Moscow would all deliver unique visuals. anywhere else???

  • Comment number 54.

    Surely they should be using public transport. Maybe a race on the circle line, each driver has to complete 3 laps on the tube, the excitement of buying a ticket, negotiating the escalators,will they give change to the busker at the bottom and then full race coverage, well highlights for the BBC of all drivers sitting on the tube for 2hrs.

  • Comment number 55.

    @15 It's not just you, but can we please stop with this disrespect I constantly keep seeing on these pages

    His name is Andrew

  • Comment number 56.

    Would love to see it, but I'd be amazed if it was logistically possible.

    Must echo other peoples comments re: Spa and A1 Ring, I would love to see that back.

    Would like to see Imola too now it's been redeveloped.

    But if a country that is oil rich wants to play, regardless of how boring and uninspiring the circuit is then we'll be going there.

  • Comment number 57.

    @51 Here's my calendar; 1. Australia (Albert Park), 2. Malaysia (Sepang), 3. Spain (Jerez), 4. Monaco (Monte Carlo), 5. France (Paul Ricard), 6. German (Nurburgring), 7. Canada (Montreal), 8. Great Britain (Silverstone), 9. Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps), 10. Italy (Monza), 11. Singapore (Marina Bay), 12. Korea (Yeongham), 13. Japan (Suzuka), 14. Brazil (Interlagos), 15. South Africa (Kyalami)

  • Comment number 58.

    @55 don't be so touchy, the drivers are more often than not referred to by their surnames but that doesn't mean we disrespect them.

    Having said that and completely contradicting myself you are correct that Benson for reasons covered in other blogs (the ones the BBC has not found so embarrassing they had to remove) has some work to do to earn my and many others respect.

  • Comment number 59.

    Why not have a night time race in a European Street Circuit?
    Anyway...Bernie is going down to Chinatown and you can read that as you will...

  • Comment number 60.

    Stop Press: Bernie would like more money, more publicity, and for the press to be talking about something else in relation to him, other than bribery and corruption.

  • Comment number 61.

    Won't happen, it's just an idea and it's not feasible at all. I doubt Eccelstone would stump up the cash, he wouldn't for Montreal before so why would he now?

    Seeing as there's a couple of calendars posted i'll join in.
    1. Australia, Albert Park.
    2. Malaysia, Sepang.
    3. Spain, Valencia (permanent circuit not the street)
    4. Portugal, Estoril
    5. Imola
    6. France, Magny Cours
    7. Britain, Brands Hatch
    8. Germany, Nurburgring
    9. Canada, Montreal
    10. USA, Laguna seca
    11. European GP, Motegi / Silverstone / Paul Ricard / Brno
    12. Netherlands, Assen
    13. Belgium, Spa
    14. Italy, Monza
    15. Japan, Suzuka
    16. Brazil, Interlagos

    Bit Eurocentric but if someone built a good circuit outside Europe I'd change my mind.

  • Comment number 62.

    I still can't fathom why Bernie would want to stop us enjoying a circuit as exciting and iconic as Spa.

    I may be wrong but I have never seen at any circuit other than at Spa the sheer excitement of watching the best drivers in the world have to deal with a track that's completely dry at one end and heavy rain at the other all on the same lap!!!

    And what about that amazing overtake by Mika on Schmacher at 200mph using a back marker for an extra tow?

    What on earth is Bernie thinking?

  • Comment number 63.

    1.Australia (Albert Park) 2.Malaysia (Sepang) 3. Canada (Montreal) 4. European GP (Mugello/Imola) 5. France (Le Mans) 6. Austria (A1 Ring) 7. Spain (Jerez) 8. Germany (Nurburgring/Hockenheim) 9. Britain (Silverstone) 10. Belgium (Spa) 11. Italy (Monza) 12. South Africa (Kyalami) 13. Mexico (Mexico City) 14. USA (Austin, if it's good) 15. Brazil (Interlagos) 16. Singapore (Marina Bay) 17. Korea (Yeongham) 18. Japan (Suzuka)

  • Comment number 64.

    I would love a British/Eurpean GP at Brands again, but I suppose it's too dangerous.

  • Comment number 65.

    Apologies, in my post 61 it should read:
    11. European/Pacific, Motegi / Silverstone / Paul Ricard / Brno

  • Comment number 66.

    hmmmm one word.....potholes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 67.

    62. At 15:47 29th Jun 2012, f1fan01 wrote:

    What on earth is Bernie thinking?

    --------------------------------------

    Yes, quite. Spa should be one of the first tracks being put on the list when deciding the calendar.

    I personally quite like Barcelona, and am extremely disappointed that it is going to share with the dull Valencia.

    But of course we'll keep awful tracks like Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, because that's where the money is.

    -.-

  • Comment number 68.

    I love the idea of a London GP. I can just see them going hell for leather down the Mall and screeching round Parliament Square :-) Will never happen of course but would be fun. Plus point too is that I can get there by train being a Southener. Can't see the Olympic Park GP getting off the ground either.

    Silverstone is a lovely place but in the middle of nowhere and a pig to get to on race weekends. Lets face it the ticket prices aren't exactly cheap if you want a seat in a grandstand rather than general admission - £240 for a seat at Luffield!

    If nothing else these two pie in the sky ideas have been picked up by the world's media in the run up to the British GP, which is no bad thing IMHO.

  • Comment number 69.

    @67 spot on!

  • Comment number 70.

    I just want make the point that the BBC need to change the results page to reflect that Maldanado was given a 20 second penalty and therefore did not finish in tenth place. Come on, get it changed!

  • Comment number 71.

    Bernie to pay for the costs of staging????? - don't think so!

    I agree with the general feeling that this is a PR exercise in advance of the British GP and, considering the "racing" in Monaco (which is probably the closest to what it would be like) would it be a better spectacle than other potential venues?
    By the way, could you please let Bernie know I'm a bit cash-strapped at the minute, but if he could bung me a couple of mill I promise that I won't alert the UK tax authorities to "things" that might lead to a tax inquiry.

  • Comment number 72.

    I'm not against a London GP, I think it could be epic. But it won't happen, unfortunately.

    But to break into the US, first there needs to be good coverage of the existing races to build interest. It could be great. There are people here who saw the file Senna and are really interested, but loose track of what is going on in the live races. Having watched the coverage of the last few races in California, it is atrocious. Upto 3 mins of ads per 10 mins and the commentators seem to only see the same feed that we do, and then there aren't the interviews and proper analysis. Personally, the first step could be to get the full live BBC feed on BBC America.

  • Comment number 73.

    I think it's a great idea: we could construct the chicane bollards by tying together all those senior bankers who have wrecked the economy, and place the chicane in the middle of the DRS activation zone. Just think of the positive PR that would produce for London ...

  • Comment number 74.

    It should be really non starter, how on earth are the cars going to overtake each other,briliant advertising for london and nothing more

  • Comment number 75.

    It's obvious why the FIA would go for this - London already has the thing that makes it their perfect venue; one set of rules for most vehicles, and another set with special 'go faster' lanes for the vehicles painted red.

  • Comment number 76.

    The London streets are not suitable for F1 they are bumpy,narrow,there are no safety areas,overtaking, and judging on this years performance it would take 15 years to get home afterwards!

    Take out Monaco, bring back Marie courrs,spa, and finally dump Valencia another artificial mad idea from the EU bureaucracy!

  • Comment number 77.

    I haven't got the foggiest why in Texas they're shelling out millions for a new circuit for F1. It'll be there for a few years before the drivers get bible bashed to bits and turned over for NASCAR, but then they can't use it either because it's not round and they don't know what a chicane is or how to drive it....

    Laguna Seca is just a few states away. Use that instead....and let's not forget Watkins Glen.

  • Comment number 78.

    As much as a London GP would be good, we have too many street circuits already. Monaco, Singapore and Valencia currently on the calendar (though Valencia will probably disappear if not next year then 2014), then we have New Jersey possibly next year and then tempory circuits in Montreal and Albert Park. No more street tracks please

  • Comment number 79.

    We've already got a well known street circuit; Isle of Man TT route. Then we will see just how good they are at passing! Having said that how good would it be if we could wind the clock back and get Brooklands going again. It would be worth £35m to get Tesco to move to rebuild the circuit. Then I woke up to the dog trying to bonk my leg! Can anyone tell me the meaning of my dream?

  • Comment number 80.

    How 21st Century. The marketing machine has finally divorced itself from the physical world and races are now staged in a simulated universe where major sponsors are not imploding and Her Maj. doesn't mind a bit of 'glamour' on the front lawn. And it is reported like it means something...

    Stand by for...

    Ferrari release a stunning simulation of a race staged through the streets of Rome and the Vatican. F1 press foam at the mouth for another week. I will bet reasonable money that Ferrari will indeed do something like this.

    Mercedes simulates a Berlin street race past the Brandenburg Gate.

    Force India - Taj Mahal

    Maurussia - Red Square

    Red Bull - God knows... the Moon perhaps?

    What tosh.

  • Comment number 81.

    As much as I love London as a city, I am against another city circuit for following reasons.

    1) The very essence of F1 is being forged into a commercial entertainment activity
    2) The point above reinforces the advent of the city circuits like Singapore, etc
    3) The point above also reinforces why FIA wants to develop fuel efficient cars
    4) F1 needs to be on proper designed circuits which challenge driver and car capability not mere city roads for the sake of glamor
    5) I would like to see more tracks like Spa, Imola, Albert Park, Silvertone
    6) Finally, why add to the noise, congestion and inconvenience of London folks

  • Comment number 82.

    @80 Red Bull Ring in Austria :P

    How about Newcastle-upon-Tyne/Gateshead? It'll cut off most of the city centres (but the Metro could cope with it) but there is the scope to have massive long straights and smooth corners on the inner-city motorway (probably a 1 mile DRS zone could be possible), tight corners in the city centres, a bridge sections, a tunnel section and of course the immense elevation change! It would be demanding on the cars and drivers and may produce an exiting race.

  • Comment number 83.

    @17. pyan

    A London Grand Prix would certainly help the declining viewing figures.

    Up to and including Canada BBC viewing figures are down 37.1%
    And the combined BBC and Sky viewing figures are down 22.3%

  • Comment number 84.

    F1 is really getting worse,

    It's now about the venues, rather than the tracks.
    About the 'green' rubbish, rather than the loud fast engines.

    We need the classic tracks, like spa and monza etc, not street races, they are so boring and so un-f1 like. Yes Monaco is a classic, but we don't need more!

  • Comment number 85.

    Totally agree with L_Mazzini further down the page. Flat street circuits with 90 turns is unappealing. I wana see more tracks, like japanese tracks with much more elevation change etc.

  • Comment number 86.

    Plus will there ever be an Irish GP? I doubt it. With all due repsect the tracks here are rubbish. It's about time Ireland (north and south), had a decent track.

  • Comment number 87.

    North West 200 track?!

  • Comment number 88.

    The mandate is clear, if we cant get people to the race tracks to fleece them there, we'll bring the racing to their city centre, and fleece them there instead. What's next, a race around my front room? Keep the racing to the tracks that are designed for racing, stop trying to use my city centre to make your money.

  • Comment number 89.

    Stupid idea. Formula 1 is about racing not site seeing, keep it on the tracks where it belongs. Also, the Monaco street circuit usually ends up as a procession or results in dangerous crashes and should be removed from the racing calender.

  • Comment number 90.

    When will it dawn on this or any other government that there are other places in England than London

  • Comment number 91.

    in a few years time when the wall goes back up why not go for an edinburgh or Glasgow F1 race, failing that close the m25 for a weekend and use that to host a british Le mans full throttle NASCAR type thing - that would be interesting !!

  • Comment number 92.

    I'd rather the older great circuits that have chracter to be honest. Bring back the old Hokenheim :(

  • Comment number 93.

    I think there are already too many races in the F1 calendar. It is becoming boring. Cut it down to ten races then each race means something rather than the silly nonsense that is happening now.

  • Comment number 94.

    A grand prix in London? Why not? They already have everything else there, and after all, there's no where else in GB. It is he centre of the world after all.
    Maybe they should look outside and consider one of the other cities in GB.

  • Comment number 95.

    London GP, Bring back the proper GP, like Spa,Monza,Nurburg, and refuelling, the sight of a Red'un trailing a blazing fuel line down the pit lane, just the ticket and also Murry Walker................

  • Comment number 96.

    It looks nice, but F1 needs a mixture of classic tracks and street circuits and it's becoming more of a street fest. F1 is about overtaking, not processions.

 

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