london F1 course

after watching the excellent monaco grand prix yesterday, and it being on a street circuit, it reminded of a conversation i had with a couple of other F1 fans about 18 months ago. they were talking about rumours of having a street circuit in the middle of london as a possible future venue, running through the west end and up the mall past buckingham palace etc.
did the FIA ever consider this as a serious option? its plausible enough to my mind if they can do it in absolutely sure they werent winding me up over this.
also, what are they replacing austria and san marino with next year if they arent going to race at those tracks?

Closing central London to traffic for three or four days a year? Never going to happen.

If they do go ahead with this, would the drivers have to pay the congestion charge? :smiley:

Brundle’s fears for British GP

That still doesn’t mean they’d close off central London for a motor race.

I have the same memories as you - I think it was longer than 18 months ago, but a couple of years ago there was a suggestion of a London street Grand Prix. I can’t remember the suggested circuit anymore - it did involve the Mall and Whitehall (which would both be sufficently wide).

Grandstands would have been set up in St James, while Horse Guards Parade would have been the paddock.

I don’t think it ever reached the stage of being a serious proposal, but it was reported in the Evening Standard and suchlike. Unfortunately I can’t find any trace of it on Google - I’m sure we can’t both be imagining it though!

Oh - I think the new races due to be introduced onto the calendar in the next few years are China and Bahrain.

It’s highly unlikely that any new F1 race would take place on a temporary city street circuit like Monaco. Monaco, as a track, is pretty much universally hated by the drivers. It’s ridiculously narrow for modern race cars, has no overtaking opportunities at all, and almost every corner is blind. Only the tradition keeps F1 coming back.

There are also various regulations that a new circuit must meet before it can host an F1 race. A temporary city course would be unlikely be able to meet regulations for track width, runoff areas, and verges. There are also requirements covering supporting facilities (paddock facilities, grandstands, parking, traffic flow) that may be problematic. These regulations only apply to new circuits. Tracks that have previously hosted an F1 race like Monaco are grandfathered in. All of the new venues being introduced in the next couple of years are on new tracks built for the purpose.

Just to clarify what is considered a new circuit, the FIA says:

(Appendix O of the International Sporting Code, Criteria for the Approval of Motor Racing Circuits)

This means an existing facility that has not hosted an F1 race before would be considered a new circuit for this purpose. Laguna Seca fell victim to this a few years ago. Laguna was one of several tracks considered for the US GP before Indy was selected. Despite hosting CART races for years, it had never hosted an F1 race so it was subject to the “new circuit” requirements. It turns out that the straightaway leading up to the Corkscrew has no runoff area and the configuration of the landscape and track in that area makes it impossible to add one, thus dashing the hopes of an F1 event there.

Reminds me of the Michael Bentine comedy record about the Gibraltar GP. If you can try and listen to it some time. One phrase I can remember is " the hundred yard’s main straight "

Monaco, as a track, is pretty much universally hated by the drivers.

have to disagree with this statement. while i agree with the no place to overtake statement, most of the drivers like it as a real drivers circuit and look forward to going there. a lot of them come from indycar held on street circuits such as macau and enjoy the challenge.

Everytime I watch the Monaco gp I wonder how long it will take that they shut it down. This event is contrary to all human philosophy in the 21st century. I am grateful that it did not happen but I ask myself why there have never been major accidents on this track.

I think many of the driver’s like the Monaco circuit, but for the same reasons the fans do, the history, and the challenge. As far as over-taking opportunities there are none.

The teams hate the circuit (the engineers and the money-men) from what I’ve read, it requires a completely different set-up than every other circuit, and thus requires a lot of extra work and extra money.

It stays because of the tradition, but I think everyone is right to say that there will be no more road circuits added to the calender. London I assume was mentioned (I’ve never read the article) because of the fear of losing the British GP leads to speculation on revolutionary ideas. But while, from my understanding, Silverstone is reletively difficult to reach, and lacks parking and hotel facilities the real impetus for F1’s abandonment of the great GP’s of Europe is the EU’s upcomming ban on tobacco advertising. Thus a move to London doesn’t solve the biggest problem.

As mentioned that is why new Grands Prix will be added in Bahrain and China, where there are less tobacco advertising restrictions, ditto for Lebanon, Russia, and Turkey three other places mentioned as future sites to replace the threatened British, Austrian, and Hungarian Grands Prix most likely.

Personally I’d love a Manhattan Grand Prixm that would be a spectacle, though considering Indianapolis is the most boring place in the world a move to about anywhere would be welcomed. Unfortunately, it ain’t gonna happen.

There have been many major accidents there in the past, and there was a pretty horrific fatal accident there in (IIRC) '67 or '68. Spoiler for the faint-of-heart:

Lorenzo Bandini lost control of his Ferrari exiting the tunnel. It flipped over and caught fire with Bandini trapped inside. He lingered in the hospital for a few days before finally dieing from his burns.

Cars have also ended up in the harbour a couple of times. It is amazing that there aren’t more major wrecks. That just may be a function of the relatively low speeds at Monaco compared to other circuits.

just ask jensen button, totalling his car out of the tunnel at 180mph in qualifying on saturday