Utopian racing through London

At the same time as plans to scrap one of the two Grand Prix in Spain are underway, the British team McLaren and their sponsors Santander make the news with a proposal for a second Grand Prix in the UK.

Still from a London Grand Prix simulation by Santander

The team has produced a video simulation of what a race down the streets of the English capital would look like. Both McLaren drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button provided feedback for the design of the circuit that would embrace London’s most iconic landmarks.

“[T]his is an utterly epic track and would produce the most stunning and compelling Formula One race,” Formula One website quoted Lewis, whilst Jenson recognised how deep-rooted the sport is into British culture.

Bernie Ecclestone, F1’s CEO was also quoted saying that such a race has been on his mind for a while, suggesting that “The public’s appetite for a London Grand Prix is huge as I am sure it is with the F1 teams and sponsors.” He is reported to be offering £35m for the project.

London Mayor, Boris Johnson, considers the project as a possibility, claiming: “I am always interested in projects that attract jobs and bring growth.”

“I am broadly positive providing we can satisfy the air quality and noise issues.”

Although some Londoners opposed the idea (namely: the taxi drivers), the general opinion is that such a venture could be another boost to the City:

Gordon, Assistant Communications Officer for the London 2012 Olympics: I believe London is a very versatile city which hosts a large variety of cultural and sporting events, and does it very well every time. I think a Grand Prix would definitely be a great promotional boost and as long as any disruption was compensated, it would be justified to host it here. I wouldn’t however agree that this should be organised in place of Silverstone, as that area has a great tradition in motor-sport and it wouldn’t be right to deprive it of such an event as a Formula One race.

Marcin, Manager at Starbucks: The sport doesn’t interest me, but I’m sure, from the perspective of local businesses, that this would be a good idea, as many people would come down here just for that event. But for that reason I think it’s better for a smaller city to host such a thing, because people will be coming to London nevertheless.

And what do you think? Watch the Santander video and share your thoughts!

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