London sets stage for city grand prix

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The Independent Online

Over the sound of V10 Formula One engines reverberating through the streets of London yesterday, the loudest noise may have been the death knell of Silverstone as a grand prix venue. If Councillor Ian Wilder has his way, there will be a grand prix in London within three years. It could be the British.

Over the sound of V10 Formula One engines reverberating through the streets of London yesterday, the loudest noise may have been the death knell of Silverstone as a grand prix venue. If Councillor Ian Wilder has his way, there will be a grand prix in London within three years. It could be the British.

Wilder sat with Bernie Ecclestone, the president of the F1 constructors' association, at a President's Club charity dinner and asked why other city centres in the world held pre-race events, but Britain did not. It is safe to say that the "F1 comes to Regent Street" event would not have got off the ground without Ecclestone's approval, and he was there to flag the cars away.

"Of course the plan is to have a grand prix here," said Councillor Wilder. "There are three factors: money, which is less of a problem, congestion and safety. A tentative circuit has already been mooted, running down The Mall to Buckingham Palace then back into Pall Mall before following up Regent Street, Argyll Street and Marlborough Street."

"A London-based grand prix would be brilliant," the former F1 driver Martin Brundle said. Simon Milton, the leader of Westminster Council, endorsed that view, saying: "Today is a taster but we are keen to enter into discussions to bring a grand prix to the centre of London."

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