Now, a GP through London

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has offered to stump up 35 million pounds to stage a Grand Prix around London’s famous streets, the Times reported on Thursday.

The 3.2 mile (5.1 km) route will be unveiled when the full plan is presented later, but it would take in landmarks including Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square, the report said.

Organisers estimate 120,000 spectators would flock to the showpiece event — making it the biggest race on the tour — and hope the money they would spend would more than cover Formula One’s investment. “Think what it would do for tourism,” Ecclestone said.

“It would be fantastic, good for London, good for England — a lot better than the Olympics,” he added. A map of the proposed race route published by newspaper indicated the event could start on the The Mall before a sprint past some of the city’s most iconic streets and landmarks. Populous, the architectural group which drew up the plans for the proposed circuit, had conducted the most thorough feasibility study ever conducted for a possible London grand prix.

As well as the route itself, Populous had also examined the fine detail of the environmental impact of the race, mapping 27,000 trees which would need to be protected along the route.

John Rhodes, the assistant principal of Populous, said it would take around five days to set up the circuit and three to dismantle it. However he said London could follow the example of other street races held around the world by allowing traffic to use the circuit at the end of each day’s racing.

“Roads in Singapore and Monaco close down for the events and then open again each evening,” he said. “The route is fairly enclosed so it would not affect London too much.”

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