Sunday 20 August 2017

Mario Kart to Milton Keynes: Where else could Britain stage a Grand Prix?

From the realistic to the ridiculous.

Silverstone and Spaghetti Junction (Frank Augstein/AP, PA)
Silverstone and Spaghetti Junction (Frank Augstein/AP, PA)

By Max McLean

With Silverstone set to ditch the British Grand Prix, the nation must think of somewhere new to host the popular event.

But where? Well, there are plenty of options, some of which encapsulate the best of British.

London

London is perhaps the most sensible option, on this list certainly, with F1 cars of the past taking to the streets around Trafalgar Square on Wednesday ahead of the British GP.

The event proved highly popular with fans, teams and drivers, and mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he was open to bringing the race to the capital.

Now a privately owned company, London GP is planning on hosting the race around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford – although there are currently no specifics in place.

F1 on the streets of London, anybody?

Milton Keynes

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(google.co.uk/maps)

A Guardian article writes of Milton Keynes: “For nearly 50 years, Milton Keynes has been derided as a soulless suburb.”

But perhaps hosting the British Grand Prix could be the making of it.

With its grid system and many roundabouts, a street circuit around Milton Keynes could make for an excellent, albeit perhaps repetitive, race.

Spaghetti Junction

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(PA/PA Archive)

Can you imagine? What a crazy spectacle this would be, to see Formula One’s finest tearing around Spaghetti Junction, originally known as the Gravelly Hill Interchange.

With its five layers, Spaghetti Junction was designed to join up the M1, M5 and M6 motorways and last for 120 years – whether that estimate takes into account copious amounts of Formula One action is a different question.

The drivers are sure to get a bit dizzy, which might dent the junction’s chances of hosting a British GP – but perhaps a huge bowl of spaghetti for a trophy might swing things in its favour.

Velodrome

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(Jane Barlow/PA)

OK, getting a little further from feasible now.

Your classic velodrome hosts the greatest track cyclists in the world, but consider this: scale it up and give the Formula One drivers a go.

All right, it’s not perfect, but it would provide an interesting challenge in terms of tyre choice – and with the central area available for pit stops, the crowd would be able to see it all from one seat.

OK, fair enough. This is basically Nascar.

Scalextric

Lewis Hamilton, sat in his living room, with a cup of tea in one hand and a Scalextric remote in the other, battling it out against all his F1 mates on a Sunday afternoon.

Now that’s what Grandstand was made for.

Multi-storey car park

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(Rui Vieira/PA)

The noise would be something, wouldn’t it? If you could find a space that is.

Car park at full capacity? Sorry everyone – there’ll be no race this year.

Mario Kart

Something that would surely be right up Max Verstappen’s street, Mario Kart offers a world of possibilities.

Tracks such as Bowser’s Castle, Rainbow Road and DK Jungle would offer variation, while instead of three laps, the drivers would complete 70, and be forced to make the occasional pit stop.

Can anyone else imagine Sebastian Vettel’s furious reaction to a blue shell wiping out his lead? Think of the team radio…

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