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Hopes grow for London Grand Prix

Martin Williamson February 27, 2014 « Jury still out on 2014 tyres | Villeneuve to make Indy 500 return »
Jenson Button drives his BAR round Piccadilly Circus in 2004 © Getty Images
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The unlikely prospect of a grand prix through the streets of London could become a little more real thanks to an overhaul of road safety and speed limit laws in the city.

The Times reported that "a consultation that will make it easier to hold races on public roads will be launched within days". This was first raised in 2011 but political wrangling has blocked progress until now.

The change is primarily aimed at easing the difficulties faced by events such as rallying and cycling, but Formula One could benefit as well.

At present, there are numerous obstacles to staging a race as each local authority would have to agree to closing roads and suspending laws relating to speed and safety.

In 2012 Bernie Ecclestone raised the prospect of a London Grand Prix and a provisional circuit was discussed. "It's no joke, 100% completely no joke," he said. "With the way things are, maybe we would front it and put the money up for it. If we got the OK and everything was fine, I think we could do that."

Even if the changes are made, the race faces massive opposition from environmental groups, retailers and local people who fear the noise and massive disruption the event would bring to a major commercial and tourism centre in the middle of the summer.

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