F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone says the recent publicity stunt by Santander for a London F1 Grand Prix are in fact a serious proposal.
We recently saw plans for an F1 Grand Prix in London surface as something of a publicity stunt for Santander, with an impressive video (below) featuring McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and Jenson button.
The start of the London F1 Grand Prix is envisaged at Buckingham Palace and takes in the Mall, The Embankment, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus and a host of London’s iconic landmarks in a Grand Prix at night expected to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors.
It seemed nothing more than a publicity stunt when it was revealed in the run-up to the Silverstone Grand Prix – and perhaps even a diversion from Bernie Ecclestone’s ‘bribery’ problems – but in an interview with the Guardian, Bernie has said it’s a completely serious plan to get London to host what could be the most impressive Grand Prix on the calendar.
Bernie is offering to stump up the cost of the London Grand Prix – which as he usually charges and city who wants to host a grand prix a King’s ransom for the honour says something about his intent - and he says ”We are getting on with it. It is no joke, 100% completely no joke.”
There’s no doubt an F1 Grand Prix on London’s streets would be a spectacular event, but does it somehow ‘cheapen’ London? And wouldn’t it mean closing the whole of central London for at least a week to set up, race and then put everything back to normal? Could the revenue and publicity warrant the inevitable cost to London’s businesses and huge inconvenience for its residents and visitors?
We can’t decide whether we’re for or against London being turned in to an F1 street circuit – appealing though the prospect is in many ways.
London F1 Grand Prix Video