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Mayor: London could host GP

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 13/07/2017

Morpheus Bulletin

Morpheus Bulletin
© Provided by BSkyB

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has dropped the biggest hint yet that the capital could host a Formula 1 race in the future and declared

F1's American owners Liberty Media are keen to introduce events in "destination cities" and a demonstration run was held through central London on Wednesday evening.

The future of the British GP is uncertain after Silverstone's owners, The British Racing Drivers' Club, activated their break clause on Tuesday to stop hosting the event after 2019.

Khan said he would be "really happy" to talk to Liberty about the prospect of hosting a grand prix in London.

"Clearly, if it's the case that talks have broken down with Silverstone, I'm happy to talk and listen to F1," Khan told Sky Sports News HQ's Craig Slater.

"There are some hurdles we'll have to overcome. I've met the new leadership of F1, they're a breath of fresh air, they're very exciting, they've got cracking ideas, and if they want to have a conversation with me, I'm really happy to talk, listen, and work with them to make it happen.

"Let's wait and see. F1 have only just got out of the deal with Silverstone. But the reality is, there are so many F1 fans in London.

"Some hurdles we'll have to overcome, but there's no reason at all why it can't be beyond the wit of us to organise an F1 race in London in the future.

"We're good at organising events safely. I'm reassured we can make everyone safe in London and we're going to make sure events are successful. I'm sure F1, working with us, can in the future have an F1 race in London. 

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F1 CEO Chase Carey reiterated at the London event that Liberty Media are committed to keeping a grand prix in Britain.

"We're very proud of our British heritage. We're based in Britain, two-thirds of our teams are in Britain," he said.

"It's certainly our plan, as long as we're running Formula 1, to have a race in the UK."

The prospect of a London GP joining the F1 calendar has long been mooted, and the prospect moved a step closer in April following a law change allowing motor racing to take place on public roads.

And while the BRDC, who are optimistic of agreeing a new deal with Liberty Media once their current contract ends in two years, claim Silverstone is the "only possible destination" for a British GP, Jenson Button has also talked the prospect of a London race.

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"Fans who would come and watch the race here wouldn't necessarily be just F1 fans," added the 2009 world champion and current McLaren third driver. "I think we would attract a different crowd.

"I love racing a circuit because it's purpose built - Silverstone is built for a F1 car. But there's also something about driving through a city, down a street that London buses drive down. You would have great racing here as well.

"As long as there's a British GP, somewhere where true racing fans can go to support their drivers and teams, that's the most important thing."

Button's former McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso would like to see races both at Silverstone and in London in the future.

"I think we should have both," the two-time world champion said. "We race at Silverstone and then race at London on a street circuit."

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Related: Formula 1 in numbers (Provided by IBT)


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