Former world champion Nigel Mansell has spoken in favour of London launching a bid to host the British Grand Prix - or even a second UK event - following yesterday's parade along Regent Street.

The 1992 champion made his first appearance in an F1 car for a decade when he was tempted out of retirement to pilot one of Eddie Jordan's Ford-powered EJ14s in the LG Electronics presents F1 comes to Regent Street extravaganza, and entertained the crowds - now estimated at half a million people - with tyre-smoking 'donuts'. Speaking at a press conference that accompanied the event, Mansell said that the organisation that had gone into turning central London into an F1 playground for the day showed that the city would be capable of staging a full-blown grand prix.

"You've got to remember that London is one of the top capitals in the world, so to stage an event like this - if they wanted to do it - would just be sensational," he said, "I think what they've been able to demonstrate, and do, in a very short period of time makes us very proud to be English and British - and I'm certain that London has the capability of putting on the Olympics as well.

"There's a lot of other countries that have two grands prix, so why not have one in London? If they wanted it, they could have it, and I think all the drivers here would say it's brilliant to race round Monte Carlo, so coming here would a breeze."

Mansell joined six contemporary F1 drivers, including Jenson Button and Juan Montoya, plus ITV commentator Martin Brundle, to parade cars around a one-mile circuit in the heart of the city, with fans seeking every possible vantage point in an awesome show of support. The sound of the cars could be heard across the centre of town - and would certainly have reached Downing Street, where ministers are being asked to consider aiding Silverstone in its quest to secure the British GP for the foreseeable future.

Asked if he would rather drive at Silverstone or in London, Mansell admitted that he had no preference if it meant a chance to race again.

"I'd choose both," he smiled, "I was very fortunate - I won twice at Brands Hatch and I won three times at Silverstone, but I'd like to come back to London and try again!"



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