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Bernie downplays talk of London GP

Sunday 13th July 2014

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Bernie Ecclestone: Casts doubt on a London Grand Prix

Bernie Ecclestone: Casts doubt on a London Grand Prix

Despite Britain opening its roads to racing, Bernie Ecclestone has cast doubt over the possibility of a London Grand Prix.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister David Cameron paved the way for F1 to hit the streets of London when he gave local authorities the power to close public roads for street racing.

And although Ecclestone admits this is a "step in the right direction", the F1 supremo says there are still a lot of other hurdles that need to be overcome.

He told Press Association: "In the past we spoke to the old mayor and all sorts of people.

"It just depends on what we can come up with commercially because how are we going to fund it?

"The news is good, but I don't know whether you'd have street racing because it's not cheap to put on something that's safe. Street racing is expensive.

"But if they ever get it together then we'll see what happens. At least it's a good sign, a step in the right direction."

Cameron, who was speaking during from Williams' new £8million engineering facility, also hailed Formula 1's impact on the British economy.

He called it an "amazing success story; eight of the 11 teams based here in the United Kingdom, 41,000 people working in the industry in the Oxford area alone, working for about 4,300 companies.

"It really is something we should celebrate. It seems to me it's an industry that is in good heart and good spirit with incredible investment, permanent improvement, taking place."

Responding to those comments, Ecclestone said: "What's good about it is the Government recognises Formula One as not just a motor sport, but being powerful, good for the country and that it brings in money."

However, it remains to be seen whether the government will help cover the costs of a London Grand Prix.

The 83-year-old added: "Who knows? Maybe it's possible to get them to help out.

"If the City of Westminster and the mayor between them came up with enough money that probably pays for the amount of mineral water they drink in a number of meetings then we might get there!

"We'll see what they want to do."

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