London F1 street demo to happen on Wednesday

Lawrence Barretto
This article first appeared on

Formula 1 cars are set to run on the streets of central London on Wednesday evening as part of an all-day pre-British Grand Prix event.

F1 bosses have been working on the project – entitled F1 Live London – for months to raise the championship’s profile, with details of the programme shrouded in secrecy for safety and security reasons.

After several discussions with F1 owner Liberty Media, Westminster City Council and City Hall have given the green light for the event to take place.

From 5.30pm on Wednesday, two days before the British GP practice begins at Silverstone, teams and drivers will take their cars out for a spin on closed-off streets around Whitehall.

In addition, F1 says there will be “entertainment from chart-topping musical acts in the evening”.

Fromm midday, an “education and innovation showcase”, aimed at attracting young people, will take place in London’s iconic Trafalgar Square.

F1 personnel and representatives from motorsport engineering initiatives Formula Student and F1 in Schools will be available to pass on advice and information.

There will also be activities for children, including simulators, pitstop challenges, slot car races and opportunities to design their own cars.

As part of the showcase, which has proved logistically challenging for the teams as it falls between back-to-back races, there is expected to be displays from each team, including F1 cars past and present.

F1 boss Chase Carey has spoken about turning all grands prix into “week-long extravaganzas with entertainment and music, events that capture a whole city” and this event is the first example of that since Liberty Media took charge.

The event is the first of its kind in London since eight F1 teams completed a demonstration on a course between Regent Street and Piccadilly Circus in 2004.

There has long been talk of a potential grand prix on the British capital’s streets but none of the proposals came close to fruition.

It is believed the prospect of an F1 street race in London was not part of discussions surrounding the showcase event.

Earlier this year, a amendment to the Road Traffic Act was passed in the UK parliament, simplifying the process for motorsport events in England to incorporate the use of closed roads.

Previously, any event wanting to used closed carriageways had to pass an act of parliament.

With the amendment to the RTA, the decision to grant closed-road permits now lies with the Motor Sports Association – motorsport’s governing body in the UK – and the affected local council(s).

A series of other obstacles would still need to be overcome to enable an F1 race to take place in an English city centre.

Recent news


Rallying needs to be taken to the masses

By David Evans

Rallying News

Neuville dominates as rivals falter

Thierry Neuville will go into the final day of Rally Australia with a commanding 20.1 second...

Rallying News

New Porsche for MN Circuit Rally series

Ciro Carannante is building a Porsche Cayman ready to compete in the Motorsport News Circuit...

Racing News

Pickup Trucks get night races and £4,000 prize

The Pickup Truck Racing Championship will offer a £4,000 prize pot for a new Rockingham champion...

Rallying News

Mikkelsen on top after Australia day one

Andreas Mikkelsen will take a 20.1-second lead into day two of Rally Australia after a commanding...

Rallying News

Mikkelsen builds Rally Australia lead

Andreas Mikkelsen finished Rally Australia's opening day's forest stages with a 20-second lead,...

Racing News

Inside Karting: Cian Shields

Promoted We joined Scottish karting ace Cian Shields to discover what goes on at a kart meeting,...


Landmark Lewis deserves more credit

By Matt James

Racing News

Australian teenager set for BTCC test

Teenaged Australian Supercar driver Alex Rullo will test a Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra...

Rallying News

Ogier '99%' sure about his 2018 decision

Sebastien Ogier says his mind is "99%" made up about his future in the World Rally Championship. The...

Racing News

Jewiss heads winter Ginetta Jr entry, HHC absent

Ginetta Junior rookie champion Kiern Jewiss heads the entry for the Winter Series at Brands...

Racing News

Aston reveals track version of Newey Valkyrie

Aston Martin has unveiled a track-only version of the Valkyrie hypercar that the Red Bull Formula...

Rallying News

Paddon and Sordo to split opening 2018 WRC rounds

Hayden Paddon and Dani Sordo are set to split the opening two rounds of the 2018 World Rally...

Rallying News

Irish Tarmac plan b after Galway cancellation

Organisers of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship say they have a plan B for their 2018 calendar...

Racing News

Legends star Power secures BTCC test

Legends runner-up Ben Power has secured a prize test in a British Touring Car with HMS Motorsport. Power...

Rallying News

Ford pairing win revived R.A.C Rally

Marty McCormack and Barney Mitchell won the revived 2017 Roger Albert Clark Rally in their Ford...

Rallying News

DMACK to step back from full-time WRC in 2018

DMACK will not retain its full-time presence in the World Rally Championship next season, despite...

Rallying News

Meeke leads British WRC hat-trick hopes down under

Kris Meeke leads Britain’s hope for its first World Rally Championship hat-trick in 16 years...

Racing News

LMP1 rules could move towards road car looks

The next breed of factory LMP1 World Endurance Championship racer could be styled in the image...

Racing News

Secrets of the DS Virgin Formula E car

Formula E ace Sam Bird reveals the secrets of the DS Virgin Formula E car, prior to

Rallying News

Lappi admits he made too many mistakes

Esapekka Lappi is hoping for a cleaner first full season in the World Rally Championship in...

Rallying News

New World RX team to race Renault Clios in 2018

Multiple-time freeskiing world champion Guerlain Chicherit will head up a new rallycross team,...

1 2 3 33

More national news, in-depth race reports and analysis. Subscribe to the Motorsport News paper today.

What’s On

This weekend

No Events


No Events