Posted on July 17, 2012
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Bernie Ecclestone says he “would be interested” in staging a Formula 1 race in and around the Olympic Stadium site should a proposal to turn the venue into the centrepiece of a new Grand Prix track, which was confirmed as being among four bids for the future tenancy today, succeed.

The London Legacy Development Corporation, which is charged with promoting and delivering physical, social, economic and environmental regeneration of the Olympic Park in East London following the end of the 2012 Games, which begin on July 27, confirmed in a statement that a bid from “Intelligent Transport Services in Association with Formula One” was up against two local football clubs, West Ham and Leyton Orient, and the UCFB College of Football Business in taking on the lease of the stadium from 2014.

“Following an extension to the bidding period, the Legacy Corporation can today reveal that it has received four bids for the venue. Bids from West Ham United, Intelligent Transport Services in association with Formula One, UCFB College of Football Business and Leyton Orient will now be assessed to ensure they are compliant, before being evaluated ahead of negotiations,” the statement read.

“These bids could add to the legacy uses already secured for the Stadium. It is already set to become the new national home for athletics and host to the IAAF 2017 World Athletics Championships.”

The Daily Telegraph first revealed details of the F1 proposal by the mystery Wanstead-based ITS firm last month and while Ecclestone confirmed at the time he had been approached, said he hadn’t put his name to the bid document.

With the proposal now officially announced, Ecclestone has tonight told the Bloomberg news agency: “A race in London would be great for the city. We’ve told them it’s a good idea and we would be interested.”

The F1’s supremo’s desire to stage a race in the British capital is well known and was underlined further earlier this month by his enthusiastically public endorsement of the unveiling of what had only been intended to be a fantasy central London circuit by British GP and McLaren sponsor Santander, Ecclestone even suggesting he would put up the money himself to turn the idea into reality.

Although his comments at the time were greeted with much media scepticism, Ecclestone insisted in an interview with the Guardian last week that he hadn’t been joking and plans for a London GP were indeed afoot. “We are getting on with it. It is no joke, 100% completely no joke,” he said.

Ecclestone ‘would be interested’ in F1 race at Olympic Stadium
45 Responses

  1.   1. Posted By: RobH
        Date: July 17th, 2012 @ 7:54 pm 

    Sorry, but no chance. West Ham will get the stadium.

    [Reply]

    Wayne Reply:

    West Ham have already failed once, and their fans are completely against the idea. Also it makes an awful football stadium, the closest fans will be 35+ metres from the track, way further away than in a purpose-built football stadium due to the fact that the running track has to stay in place.

    [Reply]

    franed Reply:

    Could they afford the electricity bill?

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  2.   2. Posted By: olivier
        Date: July 17th, 2012 @ 8:02 pm 

    London as the new European GP?

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  3.   3. Posted By: thejudge13
        Date: July 17th, 2012 @ 8:05 pm 

    Mmmm. 60,000 seats already in situe. Now there’s an opportunity for a mega GP grandstand.

    The problem is with a max internal length of 170 metres from end to end, the stadium would just about fit the starting grid.

    Regulations allow cars to be a max of 4.655m. There is a regulatory gap of 8 metres between each row…do the maths.

    Maybe it is the plan for the 60,000 people is for them to see the cars travel through a slow chicane, 1 by 1 and then exit the stadium. I know I’d pay a few hundred quid for that.

    We just love it when Bernie tells us a Jackanory bed time story.

    The application to the Legacy Corporation has been made by a company Intelligent Transport Solutions Ltd, whose HQ is in a residential building in Wanstead, London. Guess they’ve got loads of money huh?

    [Reply]

    Trent Reply:

    I can only imagine the cars blasting in through a tunnel, negotiating a Montreal-style hairpin and then blasting back out again.

    Of course, you need run off the size of a football pitch nowdays, so that doesn’t leave much room for the actual track.

    My only other suggestion is to wrap the stadium around something like this:
    http://www.retrowow.co.uk/architecture/60s/tricorn/tricorn-9.jpg

    [Reply]

    monktonnik Reply:

    But if you could shoehorn a hair pin at the end of a drs straight with a genuine over taking opportunity at the end, you could charge a lot for those seats.

    …..I’d still rather sit at Luffield though.

    [Reply]

    superstaffy Reply:

    Agree 100%. Utter garbage.

    0.0 chance of this happening…..this is just Bernies way of keeping F1 in the media during the Olympics!!

    [Reply]


  4.   4. Posted By: Gary Honey
        Date: July 17th, 2012 @ 10:41 pm 

    Bernie takes away free to air F1 on TV in the UK, in the name of greed and then expects people to turn up and pay a crazy amount of money to watch a second UK F1 race – wake up man!

    [Reply]

    Kiril Varbanov (@Kiril_Varbanov) Reply:

    There’s no way I’m visiting London with those traffic jams, I’ve got more than enough in Sofia.

    [Reply]

    DonSimon Reply:

    Haha, you think there would be jams for the F1? The place is already like a soaking car park at the moment. I might come and visit you in Sofia myself!

    [Reply]

    Wayne Reply:

    I’d love to go, thanks. So would tens of thousands of others. (I do agree about the greedy removal of free to air F1 howver).

    [Reply]

    Gary Honey Reply:

    I live & work in London so would also love to go. My point is that Bernie can’t have it both ways and ultimately it is the die hard fan that pays for everything in F1, either via ticket prices or pay per view TV, and I’m struggling to see the “value” in our investment. In my view, if you apply a mandatory 90% cut to every team’s budget, the fans wouldn’t notice much of a difference in the performance of the cars and yet we wouldn’t have to shell out anything like the costs endured now just to follow our passion. I honestly believe that, at the moment, the fans are totally taken for granted……I get my F1 fix at the winter test in Barcelona, a whole day’s running for €10 plus whatever Stellios charges me :-)

    [Reply]


  5.   5. Posted By: Davexxx
        Date: July 17th, 2012 @ 11:41 pm 

    It won’t happen!

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  6.   6. Posted By: AJ
        Date: July 18th, 2012 @ 12:05 am 

    Its a complete joke. The crappy transport company have only bid for “use of the stadium” not ownership.

    [Reply]


  7.   7. Posted By: GM Grand
        Date: July 18th, 2012 @ 12:22 am 

    This is such an awful idea that even the most crazed F1 fan would see that the arena is more suited for football.

    [Reply]

    Wayne Reply:

    Actually it’s not very suited to football at all.

    [Reply]

    I Am Pedal Reply:

    But is it more suited for F1? You can use it as a poker or chess stadium and it still would be better than having one huge race a year.

    [Reply]

    DonSimon Reply:

    That’s the thing, it’s not. Ask Espanyol about how they suffered after taking an athletics stadium for the best part of a decade.

    [Reply]

    GM Grand Reply:

    I have no problem trusting you on that. But using the stadium once a year after rebuilding for F1 purposes sounds weird. At least it is if the alternative is regular football matches and more bang for your buck as alternative.

    [Reply]

    DonSimón Reply:

    Basically the distance from the stands to the pitch robs the stadium of any atmosphere. It’s a no win situation really. I agree F1 is the worst option.

    What we should do is have an Olympics every year.


  8.   8. Posted By: Dave Aston
        Date: July 18th, 2012 @ 1:36 am 

    Put it on the Gloat List.

    [Reply]


  9.   9. Posted By: Peter
        Date: July 18th, 2012 @ 3:09 am 

    If F1 wants to go street racing it is required to get an Act of Parliament as street racing is not allowed in the UK, right?

    [Reply]

    Richard Williams Reply:

    Except in Birmingham. An act of Parliament was passed for the Superprix but it only covers specific streets in Birmingham and nowhere else.

    [Reply]


  10.   10. Posted By: Michael S
        Date: July 18th, 2012 @ 3:56 am 

    Bernie wants the spotlight while the Olympics are in town… This plan is crazy on 5000 levels. No one else finds it odd that he has now released a video of a race on the streets of London as well as talking about using the Olympic stadium all in the days leading up to the Olympics… He knows the worlds media is in town and he is hamming it up….

    [Reply]

    Wayne Reply:

    What are some of those 5000 levels exactly? There is a proposal to use the entire (potentially unused) Olympic park as a street GP circuit which will involve closing down very little of London’s actual streets (unlike the Santander fantasy). The stadium would make a second rate football ground as the running track MUST stay in place leaving fans 35+ metres from the action – much farther away than is normal.

    It’s a long shot but you exaggerate the ‘craziness’ of it quite a lot.

    [Reply]


  11.   11. Posted By: Liam in Sydney
        Date: July 18th, 2012 @ 4:32 am 

    I have noticed two points of note regarding this proposal:

    1. Is this being introduced just to talk up the possibility of Silverstone losing the GP if they don’t front up higher sanctioning fees?

    2. Silverstone have to rights to host the British GP for years to come. Unless this is to be the EuroGP, Berni will need to pay heaps to the host for breach of contract.

    [Reply]


  12.   12. Posted By: Matt Shea
        Date: July 18th, 2012 @ 4:57 am 

    As long as nobody touches Silverstone.

    [Reply]


  13.   13. Posted By: John Z
        Date: July 18th, 2012 @ 7:16 am 

    Why doesn’t Bernie stage this at the Emirates? It’s been many years since anyone has won anything there.

    [Reply]

    NickyStuu Reply:

    Excellent idea – an Arsenal GP! We can have the start / finish straight on the glamorous Holloway Road (convenient if any drivers want a pre-race kebab), trundle past Drayton Park Station (closed on all race days for safety reasons), make a pitstop on Avenell Road where the old Highbury stadium has been converted from luxury flats into a pit and paddock complex…. Mr E says “No joke. 100%. This is definitely happening. Plans have been submitted by a company registered to a burger van in Finsbury Park.”

    [Reply]

    DonSimon Reply:

    Haha, try getting a bike up the Holloway road, let alone a Lotus.

    [Reply]


  14.   14. Posted By: franed
        Date: July 18th, 2012 @ 9:15 am 

    This is just the plot for another episode of the hilarious BBC2 programme “2012″.

    Oh and of course to keep Brenie’s smokescreen going, you can hardly see Gribgate through the fumes!

    [Reply]

    franed Reply:

    “Brenie”?? Just one of his aliases. ;-)

    [Reply]


  15.   15. Posted By: franed
        Date: July 18th, 2012 @ 11:36 am 

    How many entrances open? For 60000 people to be searched at 5 sec each with ten entrances is about 8 hours plus, wait for the unfortunate at the end of each queue.

    [Reply]

    Rich C Reply:

    Takes longer than *that to pat ‘em down. Plus all the handbags and whatnot.

    [Reply]


  16.   16. Posted By: Muz in Bris
        Date: July 18th, 2012 @ 12:37 pm 

    I am guessing that this would be a street circuit inside Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and probably better than the street circuit around Sydney Olympic park the V8 Supercars use. Unless Tilke manages to screw it up.

    [Reply]


  17.   17. Posted By: Viv
        Date: July 18th, 2012 @ 3:06 pm 

    Looks like the bid doesn’t really involve the stadium itself judging by the images of the proposed track – http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2012/07/18/f1-fanatic-roundup-187/

    [Reply]

    Rich C Reply:

    Followed yr link and eventually wound up watching the old 1982 video of Warwick & Pironi battling for 2nd place way behind Lauda. Interesting to 1) see cars w/o front wings 2) see cars with different engine formuli 3) hear Murray Walker in full flight again.

    [Reply]

    Krampa Reply:

    Thanks for the link. Any chance of overtaking on that track?

    [Reply]


  18.   18. Posted By: Richard Williams
        Date: July 18th, 2012 @ 3:45 pm 

    No way could it be used for F1. Race of Champions perhaps, but even as part of an F1 circuit those spectators in the seats will have their back to 90% of the track.

    This stadium is the Millennium Dome all over again. Good for pop concerts and nothing else, and with so many venues in London able to hold live music, it’s another multi-billion pound white elephant paid for by my taxes.

    [Reply]


  19.   19. Posted By: Rich C
        Date: July 18th, 2012 @ 6:04 pm 

    For all the denigrating comments here, this is Bernie doing what he does best: promoting F1. He has enough profile that ppl at least pay attention when he says stuff. I doubt anyone else could carry it off.

    I guarantee there will now be ppl at the Olympics talking about it and looking around and speculating about it and F1.

    I doubt it will ever happen, but the Olympic ppl would not waste their time considering some half-baked scheme, so who knows. And nothing says a football team couldn’t use the stadium.

    Its Marketing, eh!

    [Reply]


  20.   20. Posted By: snailtrail
        Date: July 19th, 2012 @ 2:54 am 

    For the past few years the circuits that fans want to continue on the calender are being cut while countries that are trying to promote themselves and have the cash are getting their places.
    All of a sudden in the last 2 months we have Bernie mouthing off about bringing around the opposite (and websites are sucked into spreading the BS) – its hard not to think these are all games Bernie is playing to get back good public sentiment after finally being revealed about a small portion of where dirty money goes in bribes.

    [Reply]


  21.   21. Posted By: S2K
        Date: July 19th, 2012 @ 2:46 pm 

    Money… If Bernie gets paid he will send the teams to race. Even on the Moon.

    [Reply]


  22.   22. Posted By: Elie
        Date: July 20th, 2012 @ 7:28 am 

    I’m a sydney sider and I tremble for Londoners with what will need to happen to get an f1 race happening in a city with 4 to 5 times the population… There’s a line in movie that sums it up… ” Tell Him He’s Dreamin..!”

    [Reply]


  23.   23. Posted By: Formule 1
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 12:48 pm 

    No way i don’t think he will made it.

    [Reply]

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