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Jackie Stewart fails to back Livingstone's plans for London Grand Prix

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Sir Jackie Stewart, president of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, has dismissed the notion that London could ever stage a Formula One Grand Prix, despite London Mayor, Ken Livingstone, announcing he is 100 per cent behind the bid to stage a race in the capital within the next four years.

Were London to host such an event, experts predict it could cost up to £100m but potentially bring millions more to the capital in expenditure.

On 6 July, approximately 500,000 people watched the Formula One demonstration which began in Waterloo Place off Pall Mall and drove past Piccadilly Circus and down Regent Street before looping back to the finish at Waterloo Place.

Drivers included Jensen Button, David Coulthard and Juan Pablo Montoya while Nigel Mansell came out of retirement especially to drive for Jordan in the event.

However, speaking about the prospect of a London Grand Prix, Sir Jackie said: “The Formula One event in London was an excellent promotion for the British Grand Prix at the weekend. If there is to be an additional Grand Prix in London, the financial viability must be carefully evaluated, especially in relation to the cost to the British taxpayer.

“We are dismayed at Bernie Ecclestone’s latest threat to the future of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.”

Meanwhile, Ken Livingstone has said that he’d back a Grand Prix for London “100 per cent” while both Buckingham Palace and the Crown Estate “support in principle” the idea of hosting a Grand Prix in the capital.

Livingstone added: “Hosting the Grand Prix in London would be extraordinary event. This is a huge undertaking that would take enormous planning, but I would like to see a Grand Prix in London within the next four years.” Details: www.brdc.co.uk or www.london.gov.uk

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Sir Jackie Stewart, president of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, has dismissed the notion that London could ever stage a Formula One Grand Prix, despite London Mayor, Ken Livingstone, announcing he is 100 per cent behind the bid to stage a race in the capital within the next four years.
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