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GP Week : Issue 159
It emerged this week that one of the leading – if outlying – proposals being considered by the London Legacy Development Corporation for the future of the Olympic Stadium is a proposal that would see the site used to host a London Grand Prix. The proposal has been put for ward by Intelligent Transport Solutions Ltd., and has the approval of F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who has long spoken of his desire to hold a grand prix in the English capital. “This is a firm that happened to be bidding for use of the stadium, not to own it. They came up with a scheme whereby Formula One would race around the stadium, inside it, outside it. They wanted to make sure I would be interested,” Ecclestone told the Daily Telegraph this week. It should not be surprising to learn that the grid’s British drivers were keen on the idea of an additional home race. “You are only going to get positive comments from me when it comes to British grands prix,” said McLaren driver Jenson Button. “It's lovely to travel, but we all love racing in our home country with home supporters. Whether you drive quicker or not is questionable, but it's just a lovely atmosphere having the home crowd there. With regard to the Olympic Stadium, it's a fantastic facility we're going to see opened to the world in a few weeks' time. It would be great if we had the opportunity to race there as well.” Lewis Hamilton was also an enthusiastic supporter of the idea: “It could possibly be one of the best grands prix of the whole year, so I'd definitely support it,” he said. The only note of caution came from Scottish racer Paul di Resta, who was concerned about noise issues for local residents while being supportive of the concept. "You'd have a lot of complaints from people living around there about the noise wouldn't you?,” the Force India driver pointed out. “Unfortunately I think that's a strong possibility, but the venue would be state of the art and I'm sure you could combine it with some street stuff as well. It would be a bit like Albert Park for a one-off grand prix. “London is one of the leading cities in the world, so why should we not enjoy something like that?,” the Force India driver continued. “We should be entitled to a European Grand Prix. Spain have one, Germany did so for years. If you take the ratio of teams based in the UK then I'm sure they would be happy to have it as well.” LONDON CALLING? F1 proposal for Olympic stadium F1 >>> NEWS 5 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: