Ecclestone against Olympic Park hosting Formula One Grand Prix after London 2012

Saturday, 04 August 2012
By Duncan Mackay at the Main Press Centre on the Olympic Park in London

London 2012_Olympic_Stadium_August_4_panaromicAugust 4 - Plans to stage a Formula One Grand Prix round the Olympic Park following London 2012 appear doomed after the sport's supremo Bernie Ecclestone revealed here that he does not fully support the plan.

The ambitious plan is one of several bids currently under consideration by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) to take over the Olympic Stadium when the Games are finished.

The bid was tabled by Intelligent Transport Services Ltd, a company based in Wanstead, East London, which had discussed its plans with Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone before finalising its bid.

They claimed he was behind the plan but during a tour of the Main Press Centre (MPC) here today he revealed that he is not that enthusiastic about the idea and would prefer that a race was staged around the centre of London and its iconic landmarks. 

"I'd rather [have a race] where we originally planned in central London... it's project we are going to try to make happen," said Ecclestone, who first discussed the idea of a city centre race in London with the then Mayor Ken Livingtone in 2004.

A Formula One Grand Prix is already planned for the Olympic Park in Sochi, starting in 2014 or 2015. 

Ecclestone said he was still prepared to discuss the concept of doing something similar in London with Intelligent Transport Services Ltd but without his full support it seems doomed, especially as senior officials within the LLDC are already sceptical about the idea.

They believe the plan to build a track in and around the venue would entail major engineering and environmental challenges for the Stadium and the surrounding Park.

It strengthens West Ham United's claim to take over the Olympic Stadium after the Games. 

Contact the writer of this story at duncan.mackay@insidethegames.biz


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