F1 race at London Olympic site won’t happen
Formula One is set to race down the same 100m track as Usain Bolt, if reports are to be taken seriously.
After London has finished hosting the Olympics in a few weeks the question being asked is what to do with the white elephant that is left.
Taking a leaf from Sydney it seems motor sport is the answer. While V8 Supercars race around the former Olympic site in Homebush, ideas in London are far greater.
Bernie Ecclestone is interested, and why wouldn’t he be. A Formula One race around London would produce the sort of television not to be sneezed at. The problem is however it just won’t happen.
The British Grand Prix is tied up until 2024, the British Racing Drivers Club having invested heavily in redeveloping Silverstone in recent years and negotiating a new contract with Ecclestone’s Formula One Management.
Previous attempts to lure the race from Silverstone have failed, the most recent being Donington where the circuit underwent heavy earthworks which ultimately led nowhere. Those involved skulked off the scene quietly and the British Grand Prix was secured with the BRDC.
It’s possible Formula One could be hosted in Great Britain under a different title. Brands Hatch hosted the European Grand Prix in 1986 while in 1993 Donington host its first Grand Prix since the 1930’s under the same name.
With Valencia looking to get shot of its event, and suggestions Formula One is looking to expand its calendar to as many as 23 Grands Prix a year in coming seasons, there is space on the calendar.
The crucial missing piece is a willing promoter, and that is no easy gap to fill. The costs associated with hosting a Formula One race are steep, with Formula One Management taking a significant fee for hosting the race, along with trackside advertising and corporate hospitality.
It leaves precious few revenue streams for willing promoters and goes a long way to explaining why most races run at a loss, are government funded, and are forever moving to emerging (read ‘rich’) nations.
If a promoter couldn’t be found to move the British Grand Prix to an existing circuit, where associated running costs are lower than a temporary circuit, what hope is there in finding one willing to front up the cash for a second race in the country?
The London Olympic site is therefore unlikely to ever play host to a Grand Prix, at least a Formula One Grand Prix. Those involved will have to find another use for this white elephant come September.