Formula One in Olympic Stadium under consideration

 

Plans for a Formula One circuit in and around the Olympic Stadium are officially now under consideration.

The scheme is one of four being reviewed by the London Legacy Development Corporation who are charged with the task of finding a suitable use for the showpiece venue of the forthcoming Games.

The LLDC will also be looking at three other bids, namely from football clubs West Ham and Leyton Orient, along with University College of Football Business, who are an affiliate of Bucks New University.

An LLDC statement read: "Following an extension to the bidding period, the Legacy Corporation can today reveal it has received four bids for the venue.

"Bids from West Ham United, Intelligent Transport Services in association with Formula One, UCFB College of Football Business and Leyton Orient will now be assessed to ensure they are compliant before being evaluated ahead of negotiations."

Intelligent Transport Solutions Ltd, who are based at Wanstead in east London, have already held preliminary talks with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone with regard to using the stadium as a circuit.

Any potential race would form a second British round of the world championship to run alongside the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Ecclestone has tentatively given his blessing, stating a month ago ITS Ltd are a firm "bidding for use of the stadium, not to own it."

Ecclestone added: "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."

It is understood, however, Ecclestone will not throw his full weight behind the plan unless ITS Ltd win the bidding process.

ITS Ltd face particularly strong competition from the football clubs in the Hammers, newly promoted back to the Barclays Premier League, and League One Orient.

West Ham were originally selected as tenants before a legal row ensued which resulted in the bidding process being started a second time.

Orient's proposal is understood to be a ground share with West Ham, a prospect on which the latter is far from keen.

O's chairman Barry Hearn told BBC Sport: "There is no point dwelling on the design of the stadium and the faults of the stadium.

"We have to get on with it, we have to make a fist of it and we have to make sure the Government and the people of this country get maximum value for the investment that has gone into the Olympic Stadium.

"Our idea does that, and I think it forms part of a legacy people in this country can be proud of.

"Bearing in mind this is the only time in our lifetime we are ever going to hold the Olympic Games, we need to get something out of it.

"A mixture of usages and a mixture of opportunity within the Olympic Stadium will give us the feeling we have spent our money wisely and that is really what we are trying to achieve.

"All sides have to exercise common sense and move forward. I think we have created a very interesting scheme that can do just that."

Essex County Cricket Club, in tandem with the University of London, were initially in the running, but have now pulled out.

PA

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