Jenson and Lewis present the London Grand Prix by Santander
The world’s eyes are on London this summer as excitement builds for the Olympic Summer Games as well as the capital’s established blue riband sporting portfolio of Wimbledon, test cricket and Royal Ascot. As the capital prepares to cement its reputation as a centre of sporting excellence, Santander, title sponsor of the British Grand Prix, has explored how a Formula 1 race through some of its most iconic locations might look.
This is more than just a work of imagination, though. The London Grand Prix by Santander is presented as an ultra-high fidelity short CGI film, but the circuit concept is based on a detailed feasibility study conducted by Populous, the architectural consultants behind Silverstone’s recent transformation as well as projects as diverse as London’s O2 Arena and the Sochi 2014 Olympic Stadium. Vodafone McLaren Mercedes drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, who launched the film at the Royal Automobile Club tonight (June 28), lent their expertise to the design of the 14-corner, 5.4km circuit.
The London Grand Prix by Santander is a four-minute mini-epic featuring both Jenson and Lewis as well as F1 commentators Martin Brundle and David Croft, visualising the event as a night race with our heroes racing wheel-to-wheel. The lifelike quality of the CGI builds to a thrilling conclusion as the track weaves around to one of its signature corners in Trafalgar Square.
“Having helped to design this track, it feels as real to me as anywhere I’ve raced,” said Lewis. “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.
“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 1 race.”
The circuit plan covers all the logistical considerations that would be required to hold the event for real, from run-off areas to kerb profiling, access roads for safety and medical access, catch fencing design, noise attenuation strategies, a 3 megawatt night race lighting system with 1,200 projectors, and bespoke garage pods. An integrated travel plan includes spectator entry and exit points which are all accessible via public transport, and the fully recyclable and reusable modular pit garages and hospitality suites located in St James’s Park.
“It’s been a great project to work with Santander and make this vision real,” said Jenson. “Both Lewis and I are hugely conscious of how integral the UK is to F1, right the way from our highly knowledgeable fan base to the technology culture that makes us the pre-eminent source of racing innovation anywhere in the world.
“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 Grand Prix.”