Talk of a London Grand Prix seems to increase annually around the time of the British F1 round, before quickly dying down as normal service is resumed. A London race might have been a dream of Bernie’s but it was always too costly, disruptive and, given that Silverstone is barely 80 miles away, thought too much of a threat for the home of British motorsport. But in recent months F1’s owner, Liberty Media, has been consistently supportive of a race in the capital, to the extent that the BRDC has hit out at the implications it would have.
The group that owns Silverstone believes a London race would have to take place close in the calendar due to the UK’s weather, and that the city’s direct links to global transport and, well, the fact it’s a major world tourism destination would directly harm Silverstone ticket sales. The BRDC has categorically said it expects a London race to make a Silverstone GP financially unviable – and that comes after it’s already threatened to cancel the contract for reasons relating to a growing host fee.
But is the BRDC underestimating the draw of Silverstone for a spectator? This is one of F1’s original race tracks, with world famous corners like the high-speed Maggots, Becketts complex remaining a drivers’ and spectators’ favourite for how it tests man and machine. The circuit might have received drastic modification in 2010, but it’s still largely recognisable from the original layout and therefore holds value to the deepest F1 enthusiasts. We must not forget, Silverstone has put on some brilliant races, too.
Today’s F1 organisers may be big fans of city races, but surely they can also see the value of a Silverstone event? Or do you think the draw of London would be too great to resist, if a solid plan for a GP can indeed be drawn up? Join the conversation on the thread here.