F1 » 06 August 2012
Ecclestone impressed with Olympic site
Bernie Ecclestone refuses to dismiss plans to run F1 cars around the Olympic Park in east London.
Bernie Ecclestone remains optimistic that F1 can make use of the Olympic Stadium currently being used to spectacular effect as London plays host to the cream of international sport.
Ecclestone, who has been spectating at various sport around the Olympic Park in east London, was consulted about the possibility of staging a grand prix in and around the centrepiece stadium as Intelligent Transport Services prepared its ambitious bid to secure future use of the facilities. While the stadium has also attracted attention from both West Ham and Leyton Orient football clubs, the F1 proposal remains 'on the table' as one of four short-listed for consideration by the London Legacy Development Corporation.
Ecclestone has made no secret of his interest in seeing a race in the British capital, both before and after concluding 17-years terms with Silverstone to host the British Grand Prix, but sceptics believe that staging a race around the streets is fraught with obstacles, both legal and logistical. The F1 supremo, however, appeared to overlook those issues when Reuters asked for an update on the plans after spotting Ecclestone on site over the weekend.
"It's surprising how many people have come out, I'm sure we'd get big crowds," he claimed, "We looked before about something more in central London, so we'll see what happens. Let's get this out the way, and then we'll have a look at it.
"It depends on the circuit. At the moment, we are just looking at that. Somebody is looking about going into the centre of the arena and out again, so whether that is going happen or not, we'll have a look and see."
A decision on the future of the stadium is not expected until well after the Paralympic Games have concluded their run in September, and the LLDC says it is possible more than one bidder could be successful.
“London is further ahead in planning legacy than any previous host Olympic city [but], despite our success, this is no time to rest on our laurels," chairman Daniel Moylan explained recently, "We have planned a superb Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and we are working to ensure we achieve the right long term future for all our permanent venues.
"This is simply unprecedented in the history of the Games. While there is still a way to go, we should be proud of the achievements so far in planning a new part of London with new homes, jobs and a set of thriving sporting venues for everyone to enjoy.”
The stadium has already been confirmed as the host of the 2017 World Athletics Championships, and will retain the running track installed for the Olympics whichever bid succeeds in securing its future use.
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