Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has ruled out any immediate possibility of the sport holding a race in London.
The Italian, who took on his role at the start of 2021, does not want to diminish all chances of London hosting a race, but has questioned the viability of a grand prix in the UK capital.
“In life, I always say never say never, but we are not here to sell something that is not realistic,” Domenicali said.
Due to the success of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, which has hosted 57 championship races, Domenicali sees little value in introducing another venue in the UK:
“I would say we already have Silverstone with British support and a unique place. Coming to a city like London would be quite invasive and difficult for the community to manage it. I wouldn’t go in this direction.”
The former Ferrari team principal also believes the precise location the London Grand Prix is being proposed for – the Royal Docks in east London – is not conducive to the global entertainment Formula 1 prides itself on.
“When you think of something so prestigious, you need to be in the heart of the city. Otherwise, you devalue it. I don’t think that is realistic to think in the short term this could happen.”
The 56-year-old would be open to live F1 events akin to the one held in 2017, but would not want to extend beyond that right now.
“I see more of a possibility in the future is to have a fan demonstration within the city, but hosting a race in such an incredible city as London I don’t see is possible to happen, at least in the short term.”
However, Domenicali is perennially open to plans for Formula 1 to exploit what London has to offer.
He said: “London has been part of Formula 1. Formula 1 was born here, so I wouldn’t see any other place where you can see the same home town for Formula 1.
“We are in the heart of London and we breathe that as part of our DNA.”