London Grand Prix: What would it look like?
9:19

London Grand Prix: What would it look like?

Auto Tech
-In 2012 the idea of a London City Grand Prix was mooted. It would close off most of the capital for the best part of the week taking some of London's most iconic landmarks are put on one hell of a show. So much so that Nick and I have decided to show you what the course could've been like in this, a Caterham Supersport. -Seeming as known with less anywhere near any of their F1 cars, this seemed to us to be the next best thing. Caterham is an F1 team. They're sort of based in London. It's as close as you can get to the real experience except with traffic lights and speed limits. Anyway, I'm in the car first so I'm gonna give it the first lap. Total mini the tires are. -Okay. So we start the 3.2-mile circuit, start/finish straight. It's on the now which as far as Formula 1 here straights go, I don't think any other can rival it for camera really. You're facing Buckingham Palace and they're gonna reach speeds about 174 miles an hour before braking, quite heavily for this 90-degree right-hander. I think it's 2nd gate corner 59 miles an hour and actually the corner is incredibly tight. So this should cause us some interesting first lap merry I think. So then you're coming up to the only chicane really on the circuit and actually my favorite corner here coming up fast car now and they take this at 77 miles an hour which is just unbelievable. I mean you sit up so lightly again. Now we're coming up to another 59 mile-an-hour left turn on to Piccadilly and this will be called Ritz corner because the Ritz is on the corner so it's quite self-explanatory, and now we're on to one of the first of 2 big straights on the circuit where the F1 cars can reach up to 180 miles an hour and this is kind of going all the way up to the Wellington Memorial. You have to really see an F1 car speed to believe it. It's just absolutely unreal, the noise, the experience of the thing. It's just unlike anything else you've heard or seen before and to imagine these cars screeching through here 180 miles an hour, it's just absolutely insane. I mean this road is going uphill and zigzagging and you just think the amount of commitment required and there is literally no room for error on the street circuit and that's what makes this so exciting. I mean there are now 5 street circuits on the F1 calendar which could be a bit oversaturated but you think of the other circuits. I mean you got Montreal, Albert Park, Singapore, Valencia, and of course one of the oldest circuits on the calendar, Monaco, and you think the only one that can compete in terms of glamour to this circuit is Monaco and even then. I mean Monaco is glamorous but can it compete with a site on this lap. You've got Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square, Admiralty Arch. So we just turn left to the Wellington Memorial and now we're heading straight down to Buckingham Palace. The cars should go incredibly close to the palace cutting through about 100 miles an hour. Just imagine the queen just hearing these V8's bouncing off the palace walls. This Caterham isn't as loud but let's see if we can wake her up. Sorry. This has actually been proposed as a night race similar to Singapore. So it doesn't look like the queen will be getting much sleep that weekend. So here we turn left onto Birdcage Walk which is the second kind of biggest straight. You're gonna have to get a lot of speed going through this corner which is again incredibly tight because you can reach top speeds of 180 miles an hour here going all the way down to Parliament Square. You've got Big Ben looming out in front of you as you approach over ridiculous speeds. I read also that they're gonna have to seal 800 manhole covers for the race. I mean the amount of preparation and kind of planning into this. I mean you just see everything. They're just gonna have to get rid of because I look around and I see death at 180 miles an hour, death at 180 miles an hour. Now an F1 car will do this 3.2-mile circuit in about 1 minute and 34 seconds. Now with the 30 mile-an-hour limit around all the circuit and all these traffic lights we're probably gonna be lucky if we get them and they're laughing. They come pass Big Ben and turn left and now we're running back and we got the London Eye and what would become the Monaco harbor of London over the weekend, although the Thames, a little grayer, a little dirtier, it's such a wonderful feeling driving the circuit. It's just so stunning and iconic now. I don't think we quite made the 107 percent time to qualify on the grid, but we're certainly being passing now Alex because he's in a wall back there somewhere. We're about to come to what I think is the most insane part of the track planning-wise. We're about to come through Trafalgar Square about 77 miles an hour through Admiralty Arch. Now Admiral T Arch is only a single lane. It would have to be single file through there but it's so narrow. By the time they get there, they're probably doing 100 odd and to go through there's just no room for error. And there we have it back onto the start/finish straight and I win the London Grand Prix. Oh wow. What a circuit, a very cool track. I think it's got enough mind-boggling speed around the capital as well as some really technical corners that will just make this an unbelievable race. We took in a few more laps of the circuit taking full advantage of the quietness of London streets at this time of morning before getting down to serious business. London Grand Prix, it's amazing, right? -It's also-- -Do you love it? -It's really, really cool. I love-- -It's like every corner has a different landmark or something cool on it. -I'm just trying to picture it like on the telly so like you start up now and you get the cover looking all of the drivers at the start lane and we'll see each in the background then the real shot is Buckingham Palace. -And then you got the helicopter shot where the House of Parliament, Big Ben, Embankment. You know I can see the TV coverage already. It looks stunning. -The question that has to be raised is British Grand Prix is Silverstone? Is it with a swap? -Well, you see they originally when they talked about this race it is still very kind of fictional, but when they did that they proposed there's a second British Grand Prix. I mean if both are British Grand Prix if we're on the Grand Prix in Silverstone I think that's pretty cool. It think we deserve 2 Grand Prix. You know Germany have had 2 at one point, the European Grand Prix and Valencia, Spain gets 2, we have all the F1 teams we deserve 2. If I had to pick one as much as I love this circuit and feel that it could rival Monaco for glamour, the British Grand Prix is Silverstone. It's been this since 1948 the first when Formula 1 was established, the Formula 1 were a championship in 1950, the first Formula 1 race ever was at Silverstone. When Formula 1 often gets rid of its heritage, I mean we only had a French Grand Prix since 2008 and France invented Grand Prix racing. The classic circuits like Hockenheimring had been changed to kind of Hermann Tilke carbon-copy lookalikes and every circuit is looking like the same, our Monzas are as fast as our Silverstones. Circuits have real character. We should protect those. I hear what you're saying. We should protect our heritage. I also think people associate Formula 1 with men with beards going oh I really like Formula 1 racing. -You are a man with the beard case in point. So what's wrong with occasionally assuming tradition? Why not alternate like Germany does with Hockenheimring and Nurburgring. Why not have Silverstone 1 year then the Grand Prix the next? -I could live with that. -Because I think what this circuit would do, it would bring a whole new sway the fans into the sport and it would rejuvenate it in Britain. It would give motorsport much more of a forefront and I think in London Grand Prix showing, you know, the people of Britain and of the world just how beautiful London is and how adaptable we are. -I see the point. A London Grand Prix has a lot more alert than the casual bystander than a wet field in Northampton. -Yes. Well, when you put it like that yes definitely. London is arguably one of if not the most famous city in the world so imagine having Formula 1 cars just going around here and that bests Silverstone every single time. -How many sets of tires are they gonna need to go through on this bloody road? They're gonna have to rebathe the crap out of it. -This little stretch of road when the Formula 1 driver is pulling it right to go up to the little straight before Embankment is the camera is about to assess that it's the one of the worst paved bit of road out inside of London. Here we go. -Oh. -Oh. Oh, God. It's just horrific. So Nick and I have had our say. Nick wants to keep everything in nice traditional Silverstone and I, well, I think we should move everything to London and have another city course on the Formula 1 calendar. What do you guys think? Yes or no.

Up Next

Ineos Grenadier Looks Like an Old Defender and Is Equally Robust
ineos-automotive-hambach-launch-2022-512-copy

Up Next

Ineos Grenadier Looks Like an Old Defender and Is Equally Robust

Morgan Super 3 Refines 3-Wheeled Motoring
morgan-super3

Morgan Super 3 Refines 3-Wheeled Motoring

Aston Martin DBX707 is the most powerful luxury SUV yet
site-tn

Aston Martin DBX707 is the most powerful luxury SUV yet

Audi RS E-Tron GT: An EV we want to drive long distances
audi-rs-etron-gt-still

Audi RS E-Tron GT: An EV we want to drive long distances

The 2022 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT continues to defy convention
porsche-cayenne-turbo-gt

The 2022 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT continues to defy convention

This classic Porsche 911 is fully electric
everrati-porsche-911

This classic Porsche 911 is fully electric

The new Bentley Continental GT Speed is the fastest yet
conti-gt-speed-site

The new Bentley Continental GT Speed is the fastest yet

Morgan Plus Four CX-T is ready to tackle tough terrain
morgan-cxt-henry-100

Morgan Plus Four CX-T is ready to tackle tough terrain

Ferrari 812 GTS: That glorious V12 symphony just got even better
812-gts-carfection

Ferrari 812 GTS: That glorious V12 symphony just got even better

Roadshow Video Series

AutoComplete
autocomplete-w

AutoComplete

Cooley On Cars
on-cars-w

Cooley On Cars

Carfection
carfection-w

Carfection

CNET Top 5
cnet-top-5-w

CNET Top 5

The Apple Core
apple-core-w

The Apple Core

Tech Today
tech-today-w

Tech Today

Latest Cars All latest products

2022 Yamaha XSR900 Breaks Away From the Cafe, and Onto the 1980s GP Grid
yamaha-still

2022 Yamaha XSR900 Breaks Away From the Cafe, and Onto the 1980s GP Grid

2023 Nissan Z First Drive: A Hotter Performer With Newfound Tech Smarts
nissan-z-2023-first-drive-holdingstill-cms

2023 Nissan Z First Drive: A Hotter Performer With Newfound Tech Smarts

Driving Porsche's Top-Secret Prototype Electric Race Car!
gt4-e-perf-still

Driving Porsche's Top-Secret Prototype Electric Race Car!

Our First Look at the All-New 2023 Ranger Rover Sport
land-rover-range-rover-sport-fl-still-v1

Our First Look at the All-New 2023 Ranger Rover Sport

2022 GMC Sierra AT4X: More Capable, Still Fancy
sierra-at4x-still

2022 GMC Sierra AT4X: More Capable, Still Fancy

This Dakar Rig From Audi Runs on Electricity and We Drove It
audi-rs-q-etron-still

This Dakar Rig From Audi Runs on Electricity and We Drove It

Most Popular All most popular

Best Budget Phone Plans in 2022 (and the Fine Print)
bestbudgetphoneplans-thumb4

Best Budget Phone Plans in 2022 (and the Fine Print)

Hands-On: The Aspire Camillien Electric Bike
camillien-sb-v2-00-01-34-17-still004.png

Hands-On: The Aspire Camillien Electric Bike

We Test Snap's Pixy Selfie Drone
screenshot-2022-05-25-at-10-59-48.png

We Test Snap's Pixy Selfie Drone

Meta's Next VR Headset: Should You Get a Quest 2 or Wait?
meta-questsitethumb1

Meta's Next VR Headset: Should You Get a Quest 2 or Wait?

See the Navy Unveil New Video of UFOs/UAPs
uap-pic

See the Navy Unveil New Video of UFOs/UAPs

2022 Yamaha XSR900 Breaks Away From the Cafe, and Onto the 1980s GP Grid
yamaha-still

2022 Yamaha XSR900 Breaks Away From the Cafe, and Onto the 1980s GP Grid

Latest RoadShow News All latest news

2022 Yamaha XSR900 Breaks Away From the Cafe, and Onto the 1980s GP Grid
yamaha-still

2022 Yamaha XSR900 Breaks Away From the Cafe, and Onto the 1980s GP Grid

How Will We Deal With a Mountain of Old EV Batteries?
ev-battery-recycling-00-06-10-03-still099

How Will We Deal With a Mountain of Old EV Batteries?

2023 Nissan Z First Drive: A Hotter Performer With Newfound Tech Smarts
nissan-z-2023-first-drive-holdingstill-cms

2023 Nissan Z First Drive: A Hotter Performer With Newfound Tech Smarts

Driving Porsche's Top-Secret Prototype Electric Race Car!
gt4-e-perf-still

Driving Porsche's Top-Secret Prototype Electric Race Car!

How an EV Works
how-evs-work-00-04-48-14-still089

How an EV Works

Our First Look at the All-New 2023 Ranger Rover Sport
land-rover-range-rover-sport-fl-still-v1

Our First Look at the All-New 2023 Ranger Rover Sport