Everyone who loves a bit of motor racing gets a bit giddy about city races. In F1 the Monaco race is a highlight for a lot of reasons, but putting it on normal streets adds a sense of excitement that a race track doesn't usually have. Perhaps it's the extra danger posed by a track with fewer safety features.
A London F1 circuit has been discussed for years, but a new proposal suggests that the East London Olympic park might make for a good venue for such a race. The proposal which has been seen by City AM suggests that the race could form part of a week of racing and car-related activities in the area. A festival with various events would take place from the Saturday prior, through to the Thursday. Then the usual F1 schedule would be staged with qualifying and the race days over the weekend.
The Mayor's office has been made aware, but pointed out that any request would need to come from the Formula One Group. The proposals would take in the streets of Stratford, but would also include the Olympic Stadium, which would be used to house 60,000 fans with another 40,000 in other parts of the circuit. The event wouldn't interfere with football because it would happen before the season starts.
The news comes at a good time, as Silverstone continues its seemingly endless battle with the FIA over the race there. The management of Silverstone says profit is hard to achieve on its race because of the amounts it's paying to host the race - some £17m per year. As such it has activated a break clause that allows it to stop hosting the races. Clearly, a tactic to get a reduction on the amount it pays, but if the Formula One Group doesn't play ball then a new UK venue needs to be found, or risk losing the British race. A total disaster for a sport with a long heritage in the UK.
An alternative bid seeks to see a London race hosted around the Docklands, presumably taking advantage of the fact that it's a desolate, empty hell hole during the weekends. London Mayor Sadiq Khan is reportedly keen on some form of the sport coming to London and earlier in the week said: “Watch this space”. [via: City AM]