Hockenheim - Views from the paddock 27 Jul 2004
Racing on the Streets of London?
As the debate gathers momentum on whether the Formula 1 calendar should host an additional European city race, some of the team principals voiced their opinion on whether the British Grand Prix should remain at Silverstone or whether London would be a preferable venue, or whether perhaps the two venues could co-exist?
Flavio Briatore, Renault: "London, definitely London. It would be much more exciting, and it is manageable. In Silverstone we have problems with hotels, with the facility itself, its simply not state of the art. And its about time, that Europe stages another city race. I would support a London race one hundred per cent"
David Richards, BAR: "Great Britain needs a good race circuit and it needs that 12 months of the year for other types of racing. So the Grand Prix should help build up a facility so other racing can benefit. In London it would be one race that benefits, the Grand Prix, and no other circuit racing. And to build up a circuit in London, I know the streets they are thinking about, would cost enormously. Money, that could make Silverstone the best circuit in the world".
Jean Todt, Ferrari: "How can someone think of making a Grand Prix in London? It cannot work".
Eddie Jordan, Jordan: "One should be the London Grand Prix and one the British Grand Prix. Just like the two races in Germany. But in the end I think its too difficult to have a race in London in terms of safety, the grand stands and the infrastructure. London is one of the biggest cities in the world and to close it down for one week like Monaco is not realistic. London does not need Formula One as a huge financial incentive like Monaco does. Personally I think it would be fantastic, but I cannot see it".
Tsutomu Tomita, Toyota: "A London Grand Prix would be something very different. It would attract an audience of a different aspect a fact that would be very interesting for the big car manufacturers and sponsors in Formula One. The problems I see for a London race is the logistics, to bring anything in for a race. From the scenery and especially if you have in mind some of the city races in the USA, like Long Beach, it would be fantastic. But please dont misunderstand me. I am not talking about skipping Silverstone. London just would be a totally different event".
Paul Stoddart, Minardi: "London, It would be fantastic. I think they should alternate the British Grand Prix between London and Silverstone. London would be very difficult to organise, but once it is organised it probably would be the best race of the calendar".
Ron Dennis, McLaren: "I dont think that a London Grand Prix is practical in a country that has a permanent Grand Prix circuit. For a London race the costs to put in and out infrastructure would be so high, money that should be spent on the permanent race track. I dont think that a London Grand Prix would be the right solution for England".