Saturday 10 December 2016

F1 street race in London would be 'fantastic', says Bernie Ecclestone

Published 09/05/2016 | 18:21

Ecclestone, chief executive of the Formula One Group which manages F1 rights, said:
Ecclestone, chief executive of the Formula One Group which manages F1 rights, said: "The answer is if it can be done, then yes, we'd love to do it."

Formula One could be coming to the streets of London as early as next year if Bernie Ecclestone has his way.

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The billionaire said it would be "fantastic" to have a race in the middle of the capital, and believes it would be popular with viewers.

A proposed London Grand Prix, including sections past Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace, has previously been sketched out, but plans have been held up as secondary legislation is required to allow councils to close roads for high-speed road races.

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said this would be addressed in "due course."

Speaking to ITV News London, Mr Ecclestone, chief executive of the Formula One Group which manages F1 rights, said: "The answer is if it can be done, then yes, we'd love to do it.

"There is a small technical issue, who is going to pay for it, but apart from that I can't see any dramas".

Races in the Formula E, which used electric-powered cars travelling at up to 140mph, were held in Battersea Park last year.

Mr Ecclestone believes Lewis Hamilton, who is currently second in the drivers' standings and 43 points behind team mate Nico Rosberg, will come back and win this season's Championship.

He said: "He's been a bit unlucky this year, I think he'll win the Championship but he's just been a bit unlucky. He could be a lot more upset.

"He's upset for sure cause he's a guy who's used to winning and doesn't want to be second but to be second with all the problems he's had is very good".

The 85-year-old also responded to British racing driver Alice Powell's comments that his views on women in Formula 1 could stop female drivers being given a chance in the sport.

"It's pretty factual isn't it really - if you think of all the ladies who have tried to be in Formula 1 or tried to be in motorsport and what's happened - it's not that easy.

"People don't take them seriously, to put someone in a Formula 1 car it's going to cost a team probably £25-30 million so they have to decide whether or not it's worth doing that or getting someone else in and they probably think at the moment it's a bit of a risk, he said.

When asked if he would like to see more female drivers, he responded that he'd 'love' to see that happening, adding "stranger things have happened".

Press Association

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