Formula 1 dismisses plan for London Grand Prix in Royal Docks

Image of a Grand Prix at the Excel Centre
The London Grand Prix’s promoters said its plans would transform the Royal Docks

By Ruby Gregory, Local Democracy Reporter

Formula 1 bosses have shut down proposals for a London Grand Prix in the Royal Docks, which its promoters said would transform the area.

The urban design group LDN Collective and Dar, a consultancy, said that turning an area north of the Royal Victoria and Royal Albert Docks into a race track would turn it into an exciting destination with “floating grandstands” for a crowd of over 95,000 people.

Residents in Greenwich, Charlton, Woolwich and west Thamesmead would be within earshot of any event, which would emulate other city-based tracks in Montreal and Monaco. Formula E races, with electric cars, already take place inside and outside the Excel centre.

Max Farrell, LDN Collective’s chief executive, said their vision for the Royal Docks could be “what the Olympics did for Stratford and the Lea Valley”.

He added: “We know that F1 is interested in hosting a Grand Prix here and we have designed a track that meets all of their requirements and regulations. We have discussed the proposals with the Greater London Authority, who are developing a water strategy and planning framework with Newham Council, which we hope to align with.”

Farrell added: “With or without F1, these proposals are transformational and would be a huge boost to London and the UK globally, as we emerge from the pandemic.”

Dan Horner, of Dar said the docks were “underutilised” but could host floating modules that would create a “new family-orientated leisure and events destination”.

He said: “Although floating buildings, structures and spaces are a relatively new concept within the UK, there is a growing number of precedents, notably in Europe, which have been highly successful and cost-effective.

“We believe this is an exciting and viable solution for activating the Dock, making it a world-class destination.”

The group’s plans also include new restaurants, libraries, boutique hotels and pocket parks that would be along the embankment edge, and claim the British Grand Prix in Silverstone would benefit from a sister event in London.

However, F1 has dismissed the idea. It said: “There are no plans for a Docklands Grand Prix. We have a long-standing relationship with Silverstone.”

Newham Council said that it did not want to comment on the plans. City Hall did not respond to a request for comment.

Additional reporting by Darryl Chamberlain

LDRS logoRuby Gregory is the Local Democracy Reporter for Tower Hamlets. The Local Democracy Reporter Service is a BBC-funded initiative to ensure councils are covered properly in local media.
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