London could stage Formula One race, says Brawn

Series’ head of motorsport says Grand Prix in capital would not replace Silverstone.

London could stage Formula One race, says Brawn

Getty Images

Formula One is exploring the possibility of staging a Grand Prix on the streets of Greater London, according to the series’ head of motorsport Ross Brawn.

The 64-year-old, who is responsible for planning the future of the sport with Formula One owner Liberty Media, dismissed the possibility of any race taking place in the centre of the city, but said there is scope for a Grand Prix on the outskirts of the English capital.

“I think because Formula One is a week-long activity minimum, the disruption it would cause in the centre of London would be unacceptable,” said Brawn, speaking to the London Evening Standard.

“I don't think Londoners really need to worry about us taking over the centre of London for a week. But there are things on the periphery that are being explored - not slap-bang in the centre of London but Greater London. London is an iconic city with a massive history in the sport and there's huge enthusiasm here.”

Those sentiments were echoed in July by Sadiq Khan, and a spokesperson for the London Mayor’s office reaffirmed his position on Wednesday, saying:  “The mayor believes it should be possible to organise a race in London and has asked his team to explore options with Formula One.”

Brawn also emphasised that London is not being looked at as a replacement for Silverstone, which is due to host the last British Grand Prix of its current contract next year. Formula One is yet to reach a new agreement with the Northamptonshire-based circuit, but Brawn remains positive that Silverstone will continue to be a part of the series’ calendar, and is confident that the UK would be capable of staging two races.  

“We’d like to see London complement Silverstone, not replace it,” he said. “We could see ways we could make it work for both sides.”

Since taking over at the start of 2017 Liberty has been looking to push Formula One into more cities and in November confirmed a street race in Hanoi for 2020. The series is also looking to finalise well-documented plans for a Grand Prix in Miami, while future races in Argentina, the Netherlands and Denmark have also been mooted.