Rumours of a London Grand Prix have once again surfaced after plans were submitted to host a Formula 1 race centred around the docklands in England's capital.
The pitch features a 'unique' waterfront pit lane as part of a 3.64-mile circuit located at London's ExCeL, which has already hosted a London ePrix in Formula E. 'Built environmental experts' the LDN Collective have formed the plans in partnership with consultancy firm DAR, hoping to run the race alongside Silverstone's British Grand Prix.
The theorised track has been likened to Montreal's Canadian Grand Prix in that it would feature long straights broken up by heavy-brake corners. This is far from the first time a potential London GP has been mooted, but designers are hoping theirs will be the blueprint that gets approval from F1 owners Liberty Media.
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“We know that Formula 1 is interested in hosting a grand prix here and we have designed a track that meets all of their requirements and regulations," said Max Farrell, CEO of the LDN Collective. “We have discussed the proposals with the [Greater London Authority], who are developing a water strategy and planning framework with Newham Council, which we hope to align with."
The Times reported the plans for a Docklands GP would cost somewhere in the region of £250million. Floating modules would be used to create grandstands holding crowds of up to 95,000 people, while the first-floor loading deck of the ExCeL would facilitate the pit lane.
“With or without F1, these proposals are transformational and would be a huge boost to London and the UK globally, as we emerge from the pandemic," added Farrell.
It's important to note Formula 1 is not understood to be in discussions with the LDN Collective nor DAR in regards to these most recent plans. London mayor Sadiq Khan has in the past spoken hopefully of bringing Formula 1 to the city, in addition to the long-established stop at Silverstone.
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“We’re speaking to Formula 1 and they’re really receptive,” Khan told the Evening Standard in 2021. “The reality is that the reigning champion of the world is a Brit. Lewis Hamilton is a credit to our nation and the sport, and it would great to have a grand prix in the capital city, to have Silverstone and London on the calendar."
F1 sources 'do not think the proposed area' is the right setting for F1, according to ESPN, and a London race appears 'far-fetched' right now. A return to South Africa has been mooted as the latest addition to the calendar, with Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen both voicing support for the idea in recent times.
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