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Formula One must give the Queen a view from Buckingham Palace if they are to hold race in London

Formula One bosses have been told that if they want a race in London, the Queen must be able to see it from Buckingham Palace.


The advice came from Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, as Silverstone prepared to announce that they have signed a deal to save the British Grand Prix.

Barring a last-minute slip, the news will be conveyed before Sunday’s race at the Northamptonshire track.

With the future of that national institution secured, the sport’s owners will attempt to stage a second British race — this time in the capital.

While recent talk has centred on sites in the east of the city, including the Royal Docks, Horner dismissed the notion of it being sited anywhere but among London’s landmarks.

‘You need to be able to see Nelson’s Column and the Queen from the track,’ he said. ‘It will only work if it’s properly London. It won’t work if it’s in Dagenham.

‘A London Grand Prix is interesting. It could be that there is a rotating European Grand Prix, with London as a venue one year.’

There remain blocks to the idea, not least environmental concerns, and there is no immediate prospect of the dream being accomplished. Talks between Formula One and the London mayor’s office are ongoing.

Bernie Ecclestone, F1’s former supremo, had plans drawn up for a number of potential venues — Hyde Park, The Mall, the Olympic Park and Battersea Park among them. None of them ever came off, although there have been F1 car demonstration drives in the city centre, the last of them two years ago at Trafalgar Square.

The uncertainty over London is in contrast to Silverstone, which will host 300,000-plus people this weekend when Lewis Hamilton takes La 31-point lead into the contest.

After months of fraught negotiations, resolution has been reached — or virtually reached — with Silverstone’s Stuart Pringle locked in talks on Monday to thrash out the fine details before the anticipated white smoke goes up.

‘It will be fantastic news for British motor racing,’ said Horner of the imminent deal. ‘It is the home of grand prix racing, the place the first world championship race was staged and seven of the 10 teams are within a 50-mile radius of it.

‘To lose the British GP and particularly Silverstone, would be disastrous.

‘It has such a big fan base but we don’t get to see enough of the fans in the centre of the circuit.

‘Hopefully, there are plans afoot to change that to make the experience even better.’

McLaren driver Lando Norris, ahead of his first home race, said: ‘A lot of people would be hugely disappointed if there wasn’t a British Grand Prix, especially at Silverstone.

‘It is such an iconic track with so much history.

‘For a lot of drivers, Silverstone would be their No 1 track. It must stay.’

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