Is This the Future of Formula 1?
A Formula 1 Grand Prix is an exciting event for any city, guaranteeing for at least one weekend a year the focus of the eyes of the world. The rich, the famous, the movers and the shakers will all descend for champagne, the roar of powerful engines and to be part of the circus that surrounds every grand prix of the season.
There are very few things in sport guaranteeing such global publicity, international attention, wealthy visitors and a financial windfall as a great Formula 1 Grand Prix hurtling around your city streets. Think Valencia, Monte Carlo, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, Melbourne — they’ve all got the world's premier car race running around their streets and tracks. Even Austin will be holding an F1 GP later this year, but how about London and New York (well New Jersey, could these be the latest new addition to the racing calendar?
It certainly seem like an exciting prospect, high-profile Formula 1 race cars zooming around the sensational historic sights of London or speeding along the streets of New Jersey to a backdrop of the city that never sleeps, New York City itself. After all, what's not to like?
Some of the worlds media was invited to a lavish event last week held at London's RAC Club to hear what racing drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton talk about the prospect of racing on the streets of London. They were even treated to a virtual race around the track. Most people seem very positive about the prospect of a London street race; even F1 supreme boss Bernie Ecclestone was recently quoted in a newspaper saying "maybe we would front it and put the money up for it". Which would be a first, given that usually the venues pay a whooping huge fee to the commercial arm of the sport, for the privilege of hosting F1. There was even some doubt whether this season's new addition of Austin, Texas would even make it to the calendar as their fee was late.
Holding such a race would mean closing off part of central London for at least three days, with the disruption lasting much longer. Whether or not politicians, businesses and Londoner’s be willing to put up with such a commotion is still up for debate; however, they’ve made it work for other big events, such as The London Marathon, The Royal Wedding, The Lord Mayors Show all of which close off most of central London for a day and more. Many eyes will be looking at how the city copes with putting on the Olympics before any further decisions or grand prix plans are made.Continued on the next page