Bernie Ecclestone Prepared To Pay £35m To Host London Formula One Grand Prix (POLL)

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Martin Brundle races along Regent Street, London in a Jaguar car as Formula One comes to the capital in 2004 | PA

Bernie Ecclestone is prepared to stump up £35m to ensure a Formula One London street Grand Prix to rival the Monaco equivalent.

There are other street circuits - Singapore and Valencia, for example - but Monaco is the F1 jewel in the crown and Ecclestone is hopeful that a potential London race would be as glamorous and challenbing, taking in landmarks such as Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace along the route, The Times reports.

Plans for the event, which will be revealed on Thursday night, suggest the race would be watched by 120,000 people in grandstands along a three-mile route, with Nelson's Column and Piccadilly Circus other iconic sights set to feature.

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Estimates state it could generate as much as £100m for London's economy, and with governments worldwide eager to buy the rights to stage a grand prix for £30m, Ecclestone insists the eight-figure sum is worthwhile.

He told The Times: "With the way things are, maybe we would front it and put the money up for it. If we got the OK and everything was fine, I think we could do that.

"Think what it would do for tourism. It would be fantastic, good for London, good for England – a lot better than the Olympics."

Although transport disruptions are likely to draw icy responses from London commuters, The Times was informed by assistant principal John Rhodes that major disruptions would be avoided. He said it would take five days to set up equipment and an additional three to disassemble.

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