Formula One motor racing team McLaren have unveiled an ‘absurdly ambitious’ plan to stage the British Grand Prix on the streets of its hometown in Woking, Surrey.
The main objective of the proposal is to raise the town’s profile, in a move that the team believes would enable it to join Monaco and Singapore as one of Formula One’s ‘most glamorous and iconic race locations’. The host venue would be called the Woking International Circuit, and would link elements of the town’s commercial, industrial and residential centres.
The team claim that the Woking International Circuit would be one of the fastest street tracks in the world, with a projected top speed of 195mph down the longest straight on the circuit.
McLaren are yet to present any of their plans to Woking Borough Council, citing that they are ‘scared’ about how it would react to the extensive and costly re-profiling of many roads and local landmarks that will be required.
Silverstone has been the home of the British Grand Prix since 1987, but its future was plunged into doubt in July after the circuit’s owner, the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC), confirmed that it had activated the break clause in its contract to cease hosting the race after 2019.
Jonathan Neale, McLaren Technology Group’s chief operating officer, said: “Why not? Why not bring Formula One to the streets of Woking? Obviously, aside from the huge social and financial commitment needed to set up the infrastructure, re-profile roads, re-lay tarmac, fit miles of armco, build grandstands, pay for race-hosting fees and gain approval and sign-off from the International Automobile Federation (FIA), we don’t see any barriers to our vision.
“In an era that’s often seen as being hemmed in by bureaucracy and narrow-mindedness, that’s actually very refreshing.”