Many a follower of this great sport will know that Bernie Ecclestone is completely behind Grand Prix being held in the streets of London, a fantastic idea where the drivers whizzes past various historic landmarks and monuments. In fact the F1 boss is so keen on having the event, sooner rather than later, that he even wishes to pay for the event himself. No one can argue with that, eh?
Well, sure we can. And not to be a buzz kill or to dampen anyone´s spirit, but as I, and several other, reported, the London Gp will almost very likely never happened. As I mentioned, the logistics itself would be a nightmare, closing down the vital access points in and out of the city, limiting the daily commuter´s access to the center of London, in which 13 million people live and work, and furthermore regardless of how gracious Mr Ecclestone is, those “own” money will most likely come from the owners of F1, and they are not keen to fork out £35m or more on an event, which is more or less a novelty.
You have drivers and team bosses, former mayors and dignitaries saying that this is a wonderful, which it is, and the McLaren team even had a very cool video made of how the event might look. It´s like something straight out of a computer game. Oh joy.
But remember when the city of Rome said they wanted a race? And how ‘everything was in place’? Well, that idea is now stone dead, says Maurizio Flammini who were organising the event in the ancient capital, when asked if the event would take place.
“Absolutely not, it can’t be done due to the problem of bureaucracy. I am now working on the grand prix of New York that I hope will go ahead soon,” said Flammini.
“The bureaucracy stops thousands of projects in Rome, not just formula one. We should fight against it. It is unthinkable that a planning agreement, the foundation of any business venture that can be done in the area, has a duration ranging from 6 to 15 years. Any initiative in this world is old in six years, let alone fifteen.”
Naturally London is very different from Rome and the bureaucracy in London is nowhere near what it is in Rome, but with New Jersey planned for 2014, together with Sochii and probably one more one circuit, as well as the United States Grand Prix in Austin this year, there just isn´t room, despite Bernie´s previous comments, that the calendar should be able to hold 23 races. A year he said 20 was the absolute maximum.
It seems that Bernie´s ideas are windy, at best. Don´t blame him for having great ideas. Grand Prix racing was born in Europe and since then every time we see a track disappear from the calendar, we get angry and shout and demand changes. We demand Imola back, Kyalami, we demand Spa to be permanent, together with either Paul Ricard or Magny Cours. We want it all, but we can´t have it all. What we do have in 2012, is the tightest, most exciting and exhilarating championship I´ve seen in 20 years.