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London GP proposed by Ecclestone

27th June 2012

Formula One race would take place on three-mile circuit taking in some of capital’s most famous landmarks

Bernie Ecclestone says he is prepared to pay more than £35m to stage the world’s biggest motor racing grand prix in London, with the route taking in some of the capital’s most famous landmarks, including Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square.

The billionaire Formula One chief executive, who has long harboured hopes of staging a race in London, said he was prepared to cover the costs for the event.

The route would eclipse that of the Monaco Grand Prix, taking in sights such as Nelson’s Column and Piccadilly Circus, the Times reports. Plans drawn up for the event, due to be unveiled on Thursday night, suggest it would be watched by 120,000 people in grandstands along a three-mile route and attract a global television audience in the tens of millions, generating as much as £100m for London’s economy.

Ecclestone said the popularity of the event meant it would pay for itself. “With the way things are, maybe we would front it and put the money up for it. If we got the OK and everything was fine, I think we could do that,” he told the Times. “Think what it would do for tourism. It would be fantastic, good for London, good for England – a lot better than the Olympics.”

The plans come at a time when governments around the world are queuing up to buy the rights to stage a grand prix for up to £30m per race.

Global design practice Populous study has examined the feasibility of staging a London Grand Prix. Assistant principal John Rhodes told the Times the event would not cause major disruption, taking five days to set up equipment and three to dismantle it.


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