Formula 1 commercial manager Bernie Ecclestone says he would consider throwing financial weight behind any attempt to stage a grand prix in London in the future, ahead of a promotional event by sponsor Santander on Thursday evening to unveil its idea for a track around the city.
Just a week after it was revealed that one option being considered for the London Olympic stadium is to turn it in to a grand prix venue, Ecclestone has reiterated his belief that the British capital is the perfect venue to hold an F1 race.
Santander is ramping up interest in next month's British Grand Prix at Silverstone – which it is title sponsor of – by hosting an event that will reveal how a grand prix in London could look, having commissioned a proper evaluation of a potential venue and commissioning a CGI film of how the race would appear on television. The plans will suggest a three-mile route around some of London's famous landmarks which could play host to more than 120,000 spectators.
Although it is not thought that there has been any serious discussion about turning the idea in to reality, Ecclestone has suggested that he thinks it makes financial sense, and would be willing to fund it himself.
"With the way things are, maybe we would front it and put the money up for it," he told Britain's The Times newspaper. "If we got the OK and everything was fine, I think we could do that.
"Think what it would do for tourism. It would be fantastic, good for London, good for England – a lot better than the Olympics."
Any future grand prix in London would have to be in addition to the British GP, as Silverstone has a long-term deal in place.