The prospect of a Formula 1 grand prix race through the streets of London has edged a little closer to reality, as we hear the government is about to launch a consultation to “make it easier to hold races on public roads”.
ESPN explains that the consultation is aimed at changing road safety and speed limit laws. At the moment all the different boroughs have to agree to suspend speed limits and close roads for any race to take place, and it looks like the idea is to bring more unity to the process. It’s mainly for cycling and rallying, but that dream of a London grand prix just won’t die.
A bid to turn the Olympic Stadium into a racetrack was rejected in December 2012. Earlier that year, Santander raised the possibility of a London street race (handily, the announcement was timed just before the British Grand Prix – which Santander sponsors). But F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said:
“The idea of an F1 street race in London is something I have had for many years. It would be magnificent.”
It would look magnificent, of course, but we’re not sure Londoners have an appetite for the days of road closures it would involve. Londonist’s resident F1 fans have also had a wee confab and agree that street races just aren’t that interesting. Narrow roads mean not much overtaking; the main reason Monaco is so gripping is the possibility someone might crash.
Santander produced a simulation of what a London race could look like – conceived as a night race, for some reason – and you can watch the video below.
Photo by Beth P-H