Head of UK motorsport won't support London F1 race

The head of UK motorsport is against the idea of hosting a Formula One race on the streets of London.

The F1 calendar has continued to expand in recent years, with a round on the Las Vegas strip added last season, while a street race in Madrid is also due to make its debut in 2026.

But speaking ahead of this weekend's British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Motorsport UK chairman David Richards cast significant doubt over whether a race in the capital would ever take off.

"I would not be supportive of a city-centre circuit," he told the PA news agency. "There is no legacy in that for the sport.

"I am not a great fan of the London idea. It is a one-off thing and nobody would get any benefit from it."

F1's American owners Liberty Media previously flirted with the idea of staging a race in London - but a number of significant roadblocks have thwarted any real progress.

Silverstone's future on the calendar was safeguarded earlier this year, too, after the Northamptonshire track's owners - the British Drivers' Racing Club - agreed a 10-year contract renewal with F1, estimated to be worth around £300million. It is understood that there are no plans to have two UK races on the calendar.

This weekend's British GP - which comes only a week after Englishman George Russell won at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg following compatriot Lando Norris' collision with Max Verstappen - will be a 150,000 sell-out.

Richards continued: "The new deal is fantastic, and, just as importantly, we have got three British drivers on the grid and we shouldn't forget that. British drivers boost the attendances at Silverstone, and the interest in the championship, so we have to keep nurturing new talent.

"There is nowhere else in this country to host a Formula One race other than Silverstone and we should be investing in the resources of Silverstone and making it even better than it already is."

Both Russell and Norris have won this season while seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton landed his first podium of the season in Spain last month.

Hamilton, 39, will take part in his 18th British Grand Prix on Sunday, and his last for Mercedes before he moves to Ferrari. He has won the event a record eight times, finishing on the podium at the past nine races.

Richards, chairman of Prodrive - the motorsport and advanced technology business that is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year - added: "I remember Lewis from when he was eight, leading a gaggle of karts down the hill at Buckmore Park. He stood out from that very young age.

"He has been an extraordinary ambassador for the sport in terms of diversity and everything he stands for. He is his own person and he says his own thing, more so now than ever before.

"What he has done in the past gives him a platform, and what he does in the future is for him to decide, but he will be a very influential person going forward because of what he has created and achieved.

"How he uses that influence and behaves is clearly very important. I would hope that all drivers and all people that have benefited from the sport - just as I did - will look at it afterwards and think they have to put something back to provide opportunities for the next generation."

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