Mayor of London ‘keen to listen’ to F1 street race idea

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The Mayor of London is “keen to listen” to any possible proposal for a Formula 1 race in the UK capital following the success of the live demonstration on Wednesday.

F1 Live London saw 19 of the 20 current drivers and a number of the sport’s other iconic racers take part in a special demonstration around Trafalgar Square and Whitehall, incoporating some of the city’s most recognizable landmarks.

The showcase came 24 hours after Silverstone, the current host of the British Grand Prix, announced that it would be breaking its current contract after 2019 in a bid to negotiate a better deal.

As a result, fresh hope has been given to the idea of a London street race, something imagined for many years by F1 officials.

Speaking to BBC London Sport, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said that he would be receptive to the idea of a race.

“If F1 want to speak to me I am keen to listen,” Khan said.

“My ambition is for London to carry on being the sporting capital of the world.

“There are some hurdles to overcome, but I am certainly interested in the future in having F1 in London.”

London’s most recent motorsport event was its Formula E race at Battersea Park, which was scrapped after two years due to local pressure.

A recent law change in the UK also now permits motorsport events on closed public roads, giving more momentum to dreams of a London Grand Prix.

Usain Bolt, Bill Clinton among headline guests for USGP at COTA

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The Circuit of The Americas paddock ahead of the United States Grand Prix may have been busy with teams and drivers preparing for lights out, but much of the attention lay with a number of headline guests including former presidents and Olympic champions.

As part of its plans to up the excitement levels ahead of Sunday’s grand prix and mirror other sporting events, F1’s new owner, Liberty Media, announced plans a couple of weeks ago to link up with iconic boxing announcer Michael Buffer and eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt for the pre-race festivities.

Ahead of today’s race in Austin, Buffer will introduce the drivers in a number of groups before offering the call for drivers to start their engines, similar to the pre-race procedure for the Indianapolis 500.

Honorary race starter Bolt, who competed in his last athletic world championship event in London earlier this year, will appear on the start line to complete his signature victory pose before waving the green flags to launch the formation lap.

Bolt was also treated to a hot lap around COTA by Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton before the start of the formal pre-race build up program in Austin.

 

Liberty issued a list of celebrities and other public figures who are confirmed to be attending today’s race, including Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden and actor Owen Wilson among others.

One name that wasn’t on the list? 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton, who quickly became a focus for the paddock upon arrival three hours before lights out.

The United States Grand Prix is live on NBC and NBC Sports app from 2pm ET today.