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London Mayor Sadiq Khan wants city to host British Grand Prix

London Mayor Sadiq Khan wants city to host British Grand Prix - News

London Mayor Sadiq Khan believes the city could one day host the British Grand Prix.

The future of a British race hangs in the balance after Silverstone announced on Tuesday they were activating a break clause in their contract, with the last grand prix at the Northamptonshire track currently set for 2019.

The circuit's owners, the British Racing Drivers' Club, insist hosting F1 is not financially viable as their contract includes an annual five per cent increase in cost.

The timing of the announcement, on the eve of this season's British Grand Prix, has led to F1 owners Liberty Media claiming the move is posturing for fresh terms.

But, with London hosting a unique F1 event on Wednesday night with cars running through the city, Khan said a much-heralded street race in London is a viable option in the future.

"Let's wait and see," he told Sky Sports News.

"F1 have only just got out of the deal with Silverstone. But the reality is, there are so many F1 fans in London.

"Some hurdles we'll have to overcome, but there's no reason at all why it can't be beyond the whit of us to organise an F1 race in London in the future.

"Clearly, if it's the case that talks have broken down with Silverstone, I'm happy to talk and listen to F1."

Khan confirmed he has spoken to Liberty and backed London to add any potential grand prix to a portfolio of well-run events in the capital.

"There are some hurdles we'll have to overcome," he added.

"I've met the new leadership of F1, they're a breath of fresh air, they're very exciting, they've got cracking ideas, and if they want to have a conversation with me, I'm really happy to talk, listen, and work with them to make it happen.

"We're good at organising events safely. I'm reassured we can make everyone safe in London and we're going to make sure events are successful.

"I'm sure F1, working with us, can in the future have an F1 race in London. Watch this space."

The event in London will be a demonstration run ahead of this weekend's race at Silverstone and takes place in and around Trafalgar Square.

Lewis Hamilton, the three-time world champion and one of only two Brits on the current F1 grid, left organisers miffed as he opted to stay away from the event - instead taking a short break before his home race.

An amendment to the Road Traffic Act was passed in parliament earlier this year making it easier to host closed-roads motorsport events in England.

Former two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, who currently drives for Woking-based McLaren, reckons it does not have to be an either, or situation for the future of the British race.

"I'm happy to bring F1 to the streets of a city like London," he said at the event.

"I think both, we race at Silverstone and then we race in London, on a street circuit."

13 July 2017

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