London race realistic with Liberty - Horner

Image by Hone/LAT

London race realistic with Liberty - Horner

Formula 1

London race realistic with Liberty - Horner


The concept of a Formula 1 race on the streets of London is a realistic proposition under Liberty Media, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes.

This weekend’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone is the penultimate race on the current contract after the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) activated a break clause last year. While Horner wants to see the race stay on the calendar, he says Liberty would also like to host a grand prix in London following a large demonstration event around Trafalgar Square 12 months ago.

“Silverstone is the home of British motorsport, it’s a great track,” Horner said. “Access to the circuit now is extremely good, and the amount of British fans that are coming to see the British Grand Prix, I think we’ve got another sell-out crowd this weekend. I think it appears that the BRDC and Liberty are now working closer together and are talking more positively about engagement with the fans and what they can do to put on a better activation with Formula 1.

Valtteri Bottas waves to the crowd. (Image by Dunbar/LAT)

“I think there’s a desire within Liberty to see a street race in London, and in an ideal world we’d be fortunate enough to have both — to retain the British Grand Prix at Silverstone and to have a street race in London. But obviously competition on the calendar is extreme, it’s difficult to see two British Grands Prix.

“I think from a historical and personal point of view, Silverstone is the natural home of the British Grand Prix. I think it would be great to complement it with another race even if it wasn’t a permanent fixture on the calendar.

“To have a one-off race in London would be phenomenal. But Formula 1 is going through changing times and as I say lessons are being learned. There’s so much competition for places on the calendar now that Silverstone is now starting to move with the times.”

Asked if a race in London is realistic under Liberty ownership, Horner replied: “I think with Liberty I think it is because, as we’ve seen with their discussions with Miami, they are potentially looking at different kinds of models and markets.

“Why not have a race in London one year, a race in Paris another year … you could come up with some great venues. Taking Formula 1 to the people as well, it’s proved to be extremely popular and some of the best races we’ve had on the calendar are street races.

Daniel Ricciardo on the streets of London. (Image by Mauger/LAT)

When a touring European Grand Prix was suggested, Horner added: “I think something like that, if the economics worked on it for Liberty, would be fantastic.”