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Bernie Ecclestone, head of F1 commercial rights holder Formula One Management (FOM), is adamant that plans for a future London Grand Prix are serious. The 81-year-old says the recent proposal is '100% complelely no joke' and has offered to subsidise some of the cost in order for the event to take shape.
Spanish bank Santander recently organised a promotional event in the capital, showcasing a circuit design for the proposed race with McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton. Despite claims of it being a publicity stunt for the company and the British Grand Prix, Ecclestone has firmly backed the idea.
"We are getting on with it," Ecclestone is quoted as saying by British national daily newspaper The Guardian. "It is no joke, 100% completely no joke."
Ecclestone went on to explain that although he had no involvement in the initial planning process, he was happy to assume responsibility and look towards backing the idea when it became public knowledge.
"Before I knew it I was apparently the one who was behind it," he added. "I didn't know about it to be honest, but I accepted the credit. I did say that if we could have a race in London, we would be prepared to pay £35 million (€44.3 million) to make it happen."
Silverstone signed a new 17-year deal to host the British Grand Prix in 2009, meaning a London event could provide the opportunity for two races in the United Kingdom.
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