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Home > Sports > Formula One > Reuters > Report


Schumacher backs London GP

July 09, 2004 10:58 IST

The idea of racing through the streets of London appeals to Ferrari's Michael Schumacher.

The six times world champion backed the possibility of a Grand Prix being held one day in the British capital, providing safety can be guaranteed.

"It sounds a very interesting and enthusiastic project," the German said on Thursday at the British Grand Prix.

"I've been in London for the last two days... and I've had a lot of reaction from people living there.

"They were all enthusiastic to have a race in London. It sounds impractical in a way but everything is possible on the other side. Why not, if you can guarantee the safety.

"It would be great to have a race in London.

"The atmosphere in London is good, it would be another Monte Carlo but hopefully more safe."

Schumacher was speaking after eight of the 10 teams, including Ferrari, held a demonstration run along central London's Regent Street on Tuesday evening.

That event led to London Mayor Ken Livingstone promising to 'bust a gut' to secure a race in the city.

"I have said to (Formula One supremo) Bernie Ecclestone that, if he lets us know what he would need, we will do all we can to clear the way," the Times quoted him as saying.

"I am backing a grand prix for London 100 percent."

BRITISH BACKING

Other drivers, including Britons Jenson Button and David Coulthard, were also keen on an idea despite the threat to traditional venue Silverstone.

"It would be great to see a race there in the future," said BAR's Button.

"I think in many ways you would have more scope to produce a good street circuit than you have in Monaco," added Coulthard. "And if you can do it in Monaco every year then there is absolutely no reason why you couldn't do it in London."

Williams' Colombian driver Juan Pablo Montoya, who also drove in the demonstration, said there were plenty of precedents.

"There are some big cities -- Vancouver, Toronto, Denver, Miami -- where they've closed the downtown...I think the idea is good.

"Why is Monaco one of the best races of the year and there is no overtaking? Because it's Monaco. And the other one would be London -- because it's London."

© Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.
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