The chances of London hosting an F1 grand prix is close to becoming a reality. As it turns out, the city mayor believes that it “should be possible” for F1 as long as it’s on the capital’s outskirts. F1 sporting director, Ross Brawn is also hoping for the same.
While a race in the English capital has been unlikely for several years, it is an option that F1 owner Liberty Media has continued to explore.
The future of the British Grand Prix was thrown in serious doubt when Silverstone activated a break clause in its contract with F1 that. In other words, the 2019 race will be its last without a fresh deal.
However, the sport has stated its intentions of maintaining a presence in Britain. Since then, it has emerged that an option to race in London is being considered.
However, it must be considered that a London grand prix will pose numerous logistical challenges. But, city mayor Sadiq Khan believes that such a notion could still be realistic.
A spokesperson for the mayor’s office said: “London is always open to hosting the world’s biggest and best sport events – from the final of UEFA Euro 2020 to the NFL, and the Cricket World Cup to Major League Baseball.”
“The Mayor believes that it should be possible to organise a race in London in the future and has asked his team to explore options with F1.”
There has been a significant push for more street races and now, Vietnam will be gracing the calendar in 2020 with a race in Hanoi.
In an interview with London newspaper the Evening Standard, Ross Brawn admitted that a race on the city’s outskirts is the best option at the moment.
“I think because F1 is a week-long activity minimum, the disruption it would cause in the centre of London would be unacceptable,” said Brawn.
“I don’t think Londoners really need to worry about us taking over the centre of London for a week.
“But there are things on the periphery that are being explored – not slap-bang in the centre of London but Greater London.”
In 2017, F1 held a demonstration on the London streets, ahead of that year’s British GP. It was the first time such an event was held since 2004.
An obstacle, in the form of David Richards, Motorsport UK chairman, appeared. He believes that a full-on race would be “inappropriate”.
All-electric racing series, Formula E, has held races in London in its first two seasons. However, they were limited to a circuit built within Battersea Park.
“We’d like to see London complement Silverstone, not replace it,” said Ross Brawn. “We could see ways we could make it work both sides.
“London is an iconic city with a massive history in the sport and there’s huge enthusiasm here.”