- Oct 30, 2006
Grand Prix: some hope for Imola, less for London
The San Marino Grand Prix at Imola may be off the F1 calendar for next year, but that doesn't mean it won't make a comeback. The race organizers are fighting to keep the race, but F1 head-honcho Bernie Ecclestone is adamant that the race won't be on the schedule for the next season. If they make the necessary modifications and upgrades (under new organizers), however, Bernie says there'd be nothing to stop them from putting in a new bid for future seasons. Alternatively, the single Italian Grand Prix could end up alternating circuits every other year, as the German Grand Prix has arranged to alternate between Hockenheim and the Nurburgring since its second race (the European Grand Prix) was canceled.
At the other end of the continent, the prospects for a grand prix in London aren't looking so hot. The British Grand Prix has been held at Silverstone since the start of the F1 championship in 1950 (with few interruptions), and is currently contracted to keep the race through 2009. In 2004, a parade of F1 cars proceeded through the streets of London, drawing half a million spectators and lending support to the idea of a race in the city itself. Initially, London Mayor Ken Livingstone expressed support for the idea, but never shying away from controversy (or from putting his foot in his own mouth), "Red Ken" backtracked at a recent press conference, claiming the city wouldn't support the expense of hosting a grand prix, and that he'd be afraid to walk the streets if they did.
Never a dull moment with the constantly-shifting landscape of the F1 race calendar.