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Ecclestone doubts London GP support

ESPN Staff
October 16, 2012 « Pirelli names tyre compounds for remainder of season | Massa signs new Ferrari deal for 2013 »
Bernie Ecclestone would be willing to waive the race hosting fee to see a London Grand Prix happen © Getty Images

Bernie Ecclestone doubts a London Grand Prix will ever become a reality because it won't get the support of the government.

Ever since a McLaren sponsors' event used a virtual circuit around London, Ecclestone has said he would be willing to back any attempts to bring the race to the calendar. While logistically it would prove very difficult, Ecclestone has said he would waive the race hosting fee to help facilitate the race, but now admits he doesn't think it would get the backing of the city's government.

"I don't think the government would be prepared to put the required amount of money behind it," Ecclestone told City AM. "We would make a large contribution towards the race. That is whatever it takes to get it done with all the permissions. We could help the government and council with their costs."

Ecclestone also dismissed a bid to host the race around the Olympic Park.

"We wouldn't go to the Olympic Park. I don't think anybody [else] is serious about a grand prix in London."

However, Ecclestone still believes a race would be good for London and that England should build on the success of hosting the 2012 Olympic Games.

"I think they did a good job with the Olympics. It is the first time I have been proud of England. They showed that England can do it if they have to. The population was behind it. I just think that Formula One could do the same job for a lot less.

"Let's look at the worst-case scenario, which they wouldn't need to, and say a race in London costs them $50m (£31m) a year. Over 10 years that is $500m (£311m). What is that as a percentage of the £10bn they spent on the Olympics? And you are going to get good coverage for 10 years. When you think really and truly, the F1 industry is British. We have won more world championships [than the foreign teams] and it is not government supported at all."