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Fans flock to see Formula One cars in London 07 Jul 2004

Cristiano Da Matta (BRA) Toyota TF104. F1 Regent Street Parade, Regent Street, London, England, 6 July 2004. World © Moy/Sutton

An estimated half a million people were in London’s West End on Tuesday evening to see eight of the Formula One teams take part in a demonstration run along Regent Street in the build-up to this weekend’s British Grand Prix.

Jenson Button and David Coulthard were among the current drivers taking part, along with former stars Nigel Mansell and Martin Brundle. And although speeds were obviously restricted, the crowds were still treated to plenty of wheelspin and the occasional donut.

Among the hot topics of conversation was, inevitably, the notion of a Grand Prix on the streets of London, and it was an idea that drew enthusiastic responses from the drivers present. “It would be great,” said Brundle. “We’ve raced around the world on street circuits. There are some good landmarks in London and we could find some great ones to race around.”

“One of the best races this year was in Monaco – a street circuit – so to have a London Grand Prix would be fantastic,” added BAR driver Button, who is arguably Britain’s best hope of a home win at Silverstone this weekend.

The other drivers taking part in Tuesday’s demonstration run were Luca Badoer for Ferrari, Zsolt Baumgartner for Minardi, Cristiano da Matta for Toyota and Juan Pablo Montoya for Williams.

The 2004 British Grand Prix takes place this weekend, July 09-11, at Silverstone.