Could door be opening on an F1 race in London?

4 Comments

The dream of a Formula One race on the streets of London may be in line for a boost.

Daniel Johnson of the UK’s Telegraph newspaper reports that the British government has announced a consultation that proposes a relaxation of certain rules which have an Act of Parliament as the necessary requirement to suspend national speed limits on closed roads for races.

Johnson reports that under the new plans, local authorities would have the ability to temporarily suspend dangerous driving laws in order to allow races to take place.

London’s mayor, Boris Johnson, has said that he’s open to the idea of a “London Grand Prix,” and other figures such as three-time World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart have endorsed the proposal.

Ditto for former World Champion Jenson Button, who told British F1 broadcaster Sky Sports that London’s wide roads would lend itself nicely for a “unique grand prix.”

“When you combine all of that with the world-famous monuments that would feature in the backdrop, you can see why it would be an awesome addition to the calendar,” Button added to Sky.

“The dream has taken a step closer this week, and I’d love to see this amazing concept finally happen.”

Per Sky, the consultation on closed-road motorsport events in mainland Britain would run for six weeks to April 10.

As you’d figure, there is also opposition to the idea of a race in London’s center. Darren Johnson, a member of the London Assembly Green Party, has urged Boris Johnson to nix any proposal for such an event as he believes it would set a bad example.

“This is definitely a decision for local representatives, rather than Parliament, but I hope the mayor will recognize that racing cars around central London would send out the wrong message at a time when road casualties amongst pedestrians and cyclists are on the rise,” Johnson said.

“A Formula 1 race along local high streets and past people’s homes is going to give a green light to a load of silly boy racers and others that these roads are safe for them to speed along. We need less speeding, not more, and this is one event the Mayor should firmly reject.”

SMP Racing unveils BR1 LMP1 car in Bahrain ahead of WEC entry

SMP Racing
Leave a comment

SMP Racing has publicly unveiled its new BR1 LMP1 car that will enter the FIA World Endurance Championship from 2018.

SMP Racing opted to pull out of racing full-time in the WEC for 2017 in order to focus on its preparations for an LMP1 entry the following year, with the decision being taken long in advance of Porsche’s exit announcement.

Officials from the Russian-backed SMP Racing, as well as drivers including recent IndyCar racer Mikhail Aleshin (sporting a broken arm in a sling), Vitaly Petrov and Sergey Sirotkin were all on hand to unveil the car on Friday in the Bahrain International Circuit paddock ahead of this weekend’s WEC finale.

The BR Engineering BR1 features a Dallara chassis and an AER engine, and has completed over 2,000 km in private testing, with further running set to be completed in the coming weeks.

SMP Racing plans to field two cars in the WEC’s LMP1 class next year, and is keen to get as many Russian drivers as possible in the seats from its wide pool of talent.

Even with Porsche’s departure from LMP1, the class is set to feature a bigger field thanks to the increased number of privateers moving up, with Toyota set to remain the sole manufacturer in the class.