Date: 29th June 2012 at 8:45am
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A spectacular London race track was unveiled as part of a Santander event last night at the Royal Automobile Club on Pall Mall.

It may only be a fantasy track at the moment, designed in part as a publicity stunt for Santander and next weekends British Grand Prix, but this circuit has been commissioned by Populous, to ensure that every little detail has been heavily investigated and researched so that it’s easy to see just how it could become a reality, if it received the backing required.

An extensive and wide-ranging approach was taken as part of the design process a full feasibility plan was drawn up, embracing all logistical considerations, to the extent that 27,000 trees are included in the plans, with every single one remaining untouched!

A 5.156-kilometre circuit in the heart of London may well be a logistic nightmare to stage, but with 24 Formula One cars streaming past such sights as Buckingham Palace, The Ritz, Wellington Arch, the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, before driving up the Embankment with a lit up London Eye clearly visible from the cock-pit, before what looks like one of the most spectacular corners in Formula One turning left at Trafalgar Square, through Admiralty Arch and onto The Mall to end the lap, this race would prove to be one of the most spectacular on the F1 calendar.

While street circuits sometimes receive criticism for not being very open tracks, with limiting overtaking which leads to the races themselves to not live up to the scenery around them, the Valencian race last weekend, which usually has been one of the dullest, proved to be one of the highlights of the season, so it can be done, especially when two former Formula One World Champions have been involved in the design of the track.

With Santander being one of the title sponsors of McLaren, they enlisted the knowledge of 2008 Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton and 2009 Formula One World Champion Jenson Button to help the process along to make it genuinely feel like a realistic race track.

?Having been immersed in this project, having helped to shape this track, it feels as real to me as anywhere I?ve raced, Jenson and I have worked in the simulator to provide some useful feedback to inform the circuit design, so this is far more than whimsical thinking out loud.? Hamilton told formula1.com.

?The film that encapsulates all of this work is massively detailed as well as logistically achievable, And I have to say, this is an utterly epic track and would produce the most stunning and compelling Formula One race.?

McLaren team-mate Jenson Button added: ?Both Lewis and I are hugely conscious of how integral the UK is to Formula One right the way from our fan base that is highly knowledgeable and engaged to the technology culture and engineering enterprise that makes us the pre-eminent source of racing innovation anywhere on the planet.

?With all of this background, Silverstone is a natural celebration of the UK?s contribution to Formula One. It is nice to add to this rich tapestry the notion of a London street race, and I agree with Lewis, it is a great hypothetical track to drive, and is as appealing as the reality of the Silverstone circuit.?




For an in-depth look at the design process behind the track, including interviews and CGI videos of the track itself, visit The London Grand Prix by Santander Videos website.

 

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