On that occasion, a reported 500,000 spectators turned up
Sebastian Vettel on his way to second at last weekend's Austrian Grand Prix
Formula 1 cars will return to London today (Wednesday), with a special F1 Live promotional event being held around Trafalgar Square and Whitehall as part of the build up to this weekend's British Grand Prix.
All 10 F1 teams will take part in the event, along with several current and former drivers. F1 chiefs says the event is designed to bring fans closer to the sport. It is the first large-scale F1 demonstration in London since a 2004 event on Regent Street that attracted a reported 500,000 fans.
“We feel there is no better way to celebrate the exciting season we have had so far than to have this landmark event in London on the eve of the British Grand Prix,” said F1 commercial director Sean Bratches. “This is all about giving our fans the opportunity to get closer to the teams, cars and drivers they love.”
The event will be split into two parts. An F1 Schools and Innovation Showcase, designed to promote the career opportunities in the motorsport industry, will kick off proceedings at 12pm, before the F1 Live London Show and parade begins at 5.30pm. There will also be live performances from music acts.
Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa, Sebastian Vettel and Kevin Magnussen are four of several drivers confirmed for the event, which has been backed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
“F1 Live London is a brilliant opportunity to show young people in our city that learning about science and engineering can provide them with fantastic careers, and can be great fun,” said Khan. “It will also bring fans of all ages and backgrounds together to celebrate a sport they are passionate about and in which Britain is a world leader.”
The event comes as part of F1’s boosted marketing presence that has been championed by the sport’s new owner, Liberty Media. Commercial director Bratches said the London show was the “most striking example yet of Formula 1’s evolution” since the departure of former boss Bernie Ecclestone.
The British GP will take place at Silverstone this weekend. It was recently reported that the circuit's owner, the British Racing Driver’s Club, intends to activate a break clause in the contract with F1 in an attempt to secure a better deal. Such an action would put the future of the Silverstone race after 2019 into uncertainty.