Ecclestone still keen on Olympic Park race

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone visits the London Olympic Park.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Olympics-Ecclestone says Olympic Park F1 would draw big crowds (Reuters)

“It’s surprising how many people have come out, it’s good. I’m sure we’d get big crowds. 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.”

Ferrari development ‘back on track’ (Autosport)

Pat Fry: “We have a few interesting developments that we will introduce at Spa, a track which, from an aerodynamic downforce point of view, is quite special, as indeed is Monza. In fact, we will also have an aerodynamic and engine package specifically suited to the Italian track.”

Three-day general admission F1 tickets sold out (KVUE)

“Purchases [of tickets for the 2012 United States Grand Prix] were made from fans in all 50 states and 37 foreign countries. It’s estimated 120,000 fans will attend each day.”

Comment of the day

Among the many excellent suggestions from yesterday’s Caption Competition were those from S.J.M, Dane, Juke, SouthPawRacer, Cryptowillem, David Seward and StephenH.

But for a winner it was hard to look past the very first suggestion, from OASE:

“Urgh, smells like team spirit.”

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Katy and Paul Gawne!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Graham Hill won an exciting German Grand Prix at the Nurburginrg Nordschleife 50 years ago today.

Dan Gurney had put the Porsche 804 on pole position for the team’s home race and led the first two laps around the gruelling 22.8km track made even more demanding by the rainy conditions.

Gurney then had to contend with a further problem when his battery worked loose. Hill took the opportunity to pass, as did John Surtees and they finished in that order, less than five seconds covering the three of them after almost two hours and forty minutes of racing.

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49 comments on “Ecclestone still keen on Olympic Park race”

  1. I knew the team spirit quote would win.. :P

    1. Me too! It was brilliant!

  2. It must be a serious problem that one. What to do with an Olympic venue. So much money is spent on something that you use once, and that’s it.

    There must be million of possible solutions. Having an F1 race round there, isn’t a solution. I cannot see it happening at all.

    1. Having an F1 race round there, isn’t a solution.

      Australia has a V8 Supercars race at Homebush Bay Olympic Park. And the Russian Grand Prix will be at the Sochi Olympic Precinct. So it’s not like the idea of a motor race around an Olympic venue once the Games are over is unprecedented.

      1. Speaking of, here is an idea for a circuit around the Olypimc Park.

        1. Actually, here’s a slight adjustment on the above, but it would need a lot more work to be possible.

      2. unlike Sydney unfortunately most of the buildings werent build to last.

      3. Montreal is a circuit built around an Olympic venue isn’t it ? The Ile Notre Dame where the circuit is hosted the canoeing and rowing.

        1. Indeed it is @marlarkey, its a purpose built island done for the olympics.

      4. And Barcelona hosted grand prix around the park that became the Olympic site

    2. I agree. The money would dry up and the novelty would wear off. Unless tickets were really cheap the stadium would be pointless – in which case why bother putting it here?

      As someone else pointed out, this only highlights the weakness of the other bids for the Olympic stadium which come from various football clubs and a university.

      Makes no sense to me either.

    3. davidnotcoulthard
      5th August 2012, 5:22

      From what I know London’s Solution is to dismantle the Arena after the Olympics, making it smaller and easier to maintain.

    4. Another source quotes Ecclestone still more keen on his citycenter idea.

      So, it’s all PR, nothing substantial. Smart moves, free publicity for F1 again. He really milks this one…

    5. If you don’t know what to do with all the olympic stuff afterwards, that is just bad planning and I suggest you simply shouldn’t host the games in that case. If you only do it for the international attention, well, just swallow the cost and be qiet.
      Lets take Munich 1972 as an example. They planned the stadium in a way so that it could be used by the two major football clubs of the city and used the olympic village as a place for (mostly foreign) students to live. The parc itself has become a common place for people to go in their free time with open air pubs and public viewing of sports events. The list could go on but the point I’m trying to make is that back then there was an entire plan for how to integrate everything in the greater planning of the city and it has worked out very well. So if you just do it for the sake of hosting the games, throw it in a place of your city that nobody really cares about and then don’t really know what to do with it, that doesn’t really come as a surprise.
      I hope they will have good ideas on what to do with it, but I suggest they do something nice and suitable, not some desperate bad ideas.

    6. Jayfreese (@)
      5th August 2012, 20:54

      Will Ecclestone talk again about giving Medals to the podium finishers?

  3. Am I the only one who thinks formula 1 is big enough and strong enough not to have to cash in on the Olympics? Why not use any available funds to improve facilities at Silverstone?

    This reminds me of the Las Vegas race in the 1980’s. Why promote that type of racing in small street circuits when fantastic new tracks like India and Austin are complementing an already unbelievable season.

    I will be in the crowd in Spa and I’m glad there are still great historic tracks left on the calendar.

    1. Why not use any available funds to improve facilities at Silverstone?

      Because a) the money isn’t coming from the British Racing Drivers’ Club, and b) Silverstone’s facilities don’t need upgrading.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys As a Scot I am only too aware that Britain has had a terrible summer! Worse than normal however, it was embarrassing to see the fans get stuck in the mud at Silverstone this year. Yes, the weather was terrible but Silverstone should have been better prepared. In terms of the circuit, Silverstone is perfect but that was what I was referring to.

        I have a question I think you’ll know the answer to, and am asking out of ignorance. Where is the money coming from and what stops that money from being invested in other circuits/BRDC? GB should be better represented in terms of tracks I feel.

        1. @rbalonso – Silverstone could not have been better-prepared. The problems this year were not caused by a lack of drainage, but by a week of constant rain that left the water table totally full. It would not have made any difference if the circuit doubled its drainage – the water still would have quite literally had nowhere to go.

  4. Ecclestone does live in his own special bubble if he’s surprised by the attendance and popularity of the Olympics.

    1. He probably didn’t know there was something he wasn’t taking money from. And now he’s trying.

    2. @mtlracer Yeah, I thought that was a little weird.

  5. ‘It’s surprising how many people have come out’

    No Bernie. No it isn’t.

    1. Bernie is used to seeing half empty stadiums cause of him ripping fans off

  6. I think the headline should read;

    Ecclestone still keen on free F1 Advertising throughout the Olympic(s)

    1. Can you really blame him for wanting to keep the sport in the public consciousness at a time when the nation is being carried away in the grip of Olympic fever?

      1. Not really. The two are not in competition. The Olympic is during the F1 off season.

  7. Why can’t the Olympic Park be used for both football and a Formula 1 race? Re-instate the European GP, host it in July, back to back with Silverstone as a one off event, West Ham or whoever wins it won’t be using it at the time

    Then, use the European GP spot to have one-off races at tracks that cannot sustain Formula 1 for a number of years, opening up the option of once again racing at Istanbul, somewhere in France, the RedBullRing etc. etc.

    1. use the European GP spot to have one-off races at tracks that cannot sustain Formula 1 for a number of years

      The problem with that is that it will give event organisers the opportunity to use Formula 1 to suit their own needs, and then get rid of it once they feel they don’t need the sport anymore. Every other circuit will start demanding shorter contracts, picking and choosing when they want to have a race. This will lead to varied calendars from year to year, putting more and more strain on teams as they are forced to plan for the most efficient way to get around the world. This will require that the calendar is shortened, which will lead to more competition between circuits owners, and the whole thing will snowball into a big mess as countries use Formula 1 for their own ends.

      1. But surely if it is kept as the same weekend they can plan for it, it is only going to be one race that changes every year, and travelling from Monaco to Montreal to Valencia makes less sense than Britain to Turkey to Germany for example.

        I understand about other countries trying to shorten their contracts, but I think the one off race will stop that, most tracks that are serious about Formula 1 won’t want a one off race and other places wont build a new track just for a one off race, so it will give us the chance to revisit some of the historical tracks.

      2. Short contracts aren’t a problem for anyone. There is no shortage of circuits wanting to host a grand prix. Ecclestone can up the price more often if the races have to be renegotiated more often (if the market is there). Chances are we’ll get to see a greater variety of circuits in more of the world. And the calendar is long enough anyway. Where’s the problem with short contracts?

      3. Normally its rather the tracks wanting longer contracts, to have a reasonable chance to make investments made in the track building pay off.

  8. So the wife asks “Where are they racing tonight?” Surprised she has forgotten I remind of the summer break. She replies “Oh My God what are you going to do with yourself”.

    1. ‘talking with you’
      ‘Oh noooo!’

      1. Watching the olympics :-) Or playing racing games?

  9. God I’d hate a Grand Prix in London too, imagine a race 15 minutes away from the centre of the best connected city in the country. And right next to the country’s only high speed rail connection to Europe. That would absolutely suck, I’m glad everyone is so cynical about it.

    And just think of this huge park, costing taxpayers billions, getting an annual summer event that attracts the sort of crowds it was designed for. Not to mention bringing money and regular jobs into one of London’s poorest boroughs, who really would want that honestly?

    An awful idea, glad everyone is shooting this down without thinking about it whatsoever.

    1. @graham228221 What has London done to deserve a GP? There are many great racetracks all around the world which are not used in this championship. F1 needs to look out for F1, not the simply race there because it is convenient for Britain. I am all for a second race in GB but why London? London certainly doesn’t need the publicity and neither does F1. Tilkedromes have been slated in the past, quite rightly, the last thing the sport needs is a boring race chosen only for greed and convenience. And if your bothered about tax payers money then surely a once a year F1 event is hardly the solution when West Ham are keen to fill the stadium bi-weekly. (Though, I doubt there are 80,000 WHU fans lol!)

      1. I doubt there are 80,000 WHU fans lol


        Harsh, but fair ;) The stadium is actually due to be reduced in capacity to 60,000, but even then…

        Ok, why not London? What other UK circuit could realistically host something?

        I’d also worry that if a track like Donnington or Brands Hatch were start hosting a race, that would allow Bernie to drop Silverstone because they are similar style tracks. A London GP is something different enough to justify having a second British race.

        Don’t forget this will be a once a year F1 event during the football close season, there is no reason why the stadium can’t be given to West Ham or any other football club and a circuit constructed in the rest of the park! I have serious doubts that the stadium itself could be incorporated into a circuit, and I can’t see any reason why it should be.

        And having the park’s main use in future just being a local football team just doesn’t justify the huge investment in transport infrastructure that has been put in place for the Olympics. Yes I know that we have a world-class velodrome and swimming pool there, but are events there really going to bring in tens of thousands of fans from across the world? Connected to Stratford you have the new High Speed 1 rail route (connected to Eurotunnel and continental Europe), and soon you’ll have Crossrail connected there too (direct connection to Heathrow). I seriously would like to so a major sporting event making use of these facilities, what better event than a GP?

        1. @graham228221 I admire your optimism, but I don’t see it happening. I’d like to see motorsport in this country given a higher importance since many engineers, teams and importantly, world champions are British. Lack of investment is a problem but I simply don’t see the need for another twisty circuit that we only visit because its London. As I said in another post, it just feels like cashing in on the olympics and reminds me of the Las Vegas race in the 80s.

          1. If there are circuits being added the calendar (and rumours are the calendar will be expanded beyond 20 races), we all know they won’t be at ‘classic’ tracks. And all tracks are twisty, last time I checked, although some more than others.

            And it wouldn’t take place for a few years, by then the Olympics would be long forgotten :) hardly cashing in (unless they call it the ‘Olympic GP’, which would be a bit stupid).

    2. I agree with the true meaning of your comment entirely; it makes complete commercial sense (and the only thing Bernie cares about is money after all)! Why should countries like Bahrain have GP’s when the turnout is always minimal? A London GP would make much more sense as you have rightly stated @graham228221 . And if anyone were to complain as to why Britain should have two GP’s, why not alternate with Silverstone?

      1. why not alternate with Silverstone?

        Careful, @vettel1, that’s sacrilege around here ;)

        1. @graham228221 – I am Brit, I know how legendary Silverstones’ status is! I would only trial it that way, it would have to be an epic track to have the honor of alternating with Silverstone!
          Personally I don’t see any problem with it being the European GP, I mean Valencia was allowed that and it’s a fairly terrible track!

          1. Silverstone is one of the (if not, *the*) only self-funded GPs.

            They [the BRDC] would get a bit shirty if Bernie came along and said “Right, you can’t host it this year because I want to try something. We’ll be back next year”, as a whole chunk of their operating income would disappear.

            They’ve got a rolling 17 (now 15?) year contract in place. It’s not going anywhere.

  10. Hellllooooooo, nobody mentioned MONTREAL !?! Olympic Rowing Basin 1976, used the parkways, built a track around it , some Villeneuve dudeÎle_Notre-Dame
    London Olympic GP not as bad as it sounds, London really is an iconic city, not just saying that as the Olympics are on. First visit in 1994. Just as long as the layout isnt like Valencia, it could work.
    There are a few cynics and pessimists on this board, that is noted, obviously we all know Bernie’s game by now. But so what, like we stand to gain any money from this.

    1. Surely this is COTD material. Has to be.

    2. Call me cynic then, but I’d rather see some old tracks refurbished / restored then having all these new worthless venues. Nice that it worked at Montréal but we already have that.

      That circuit around that lake in argentinia or jerez or Mexico to name a few…

  11. Who knows they might build a pitlane there in London that dives down underground for some dumb reason…

  12. Still can’t see the powers that be being happy about an F1 race in London. It would only be used once a year as I can’t imagine many other forms of motorsport could justify it.

    I’m a big, big F1 fan and while I wouldn’t turn down the opportunity to enjoy it in my nations capital I do think it’s important to give the stadium and other facilities to the people that have ploughed so much of their tax money into it. Football seems more appropriate.

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