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Bernie Ecclestone claims that he will continue analysis into a possible London Grand Prix once the ongoing Olympic Games have finished taking place in the British capital. While the 81-year-old continues to state that hosting Formula 1 in and around the stadium is possible, many argue the comments are acting as a smokescreen.
Two ideas for a London Grand Prix have been put forward over recent weeks. The first was a proposal from a local firm which, with the authorisation of Ecclestone and Formula One Management (FOM), would organise a race which would make use of the Olympic Stadium and nearby roads. The other was a promotional activity put together by McLaren sponsor Santander, which would see the 24 cars racing around the streets of the city centre but would logistically be close to impossible.
Ecclestone attended the Olympic Stadium on Saturday, watching the track and field events which continue to take place, and believes that an F1 race is still possible.
“It's surprising how many people have come out, it's good,” he told Reuters. “I'm sure we'd get big crowds. It depends on the circuit and at the moment we are just looking at that. Somebody is looking about going into the centre of the arena and out again, so whether that is going happen or not…we'll have a look and see.”
Critics argue that Ecclestone is using the hype around London to cover up his own involvement in the ongoing fraud case with jailed German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky. This links back to the last sale of Formula 1 in 2005.
“We looked before about something more in central London, so we'll see what happens,” he added. “Let's get this out the way and then we'll have a look at it.”
The F1 bid is one of a quartet to have been officially accepted for consideration by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC). The other three are for Leyton Orient Football Club, the UCFC College of Football Business and – current favourites – Premier League football side West Ham United.
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