Formula One may be on its summer break at the moment however on Tuesday, the McLaren Technology Group, parent company of the McLaren Formula One team unveiled an ambitious plan to bring Formula One to their home town of Woking with the unveiling of plans for an 18 turn 4.85KM street circuit.
McLaren Technology Group Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Neale commented on the plan by saying:
Why not? Why not bring Formula 1 to the streets of Woking? Obviously, aside from the huge social and financial commitment needed to set up the infrastructure, re-profile roads, re-lay Tarmac, fit miles of Armco, build grandstands, pay for race-hosting fees and gain approval and sign-off from the FIA, we don’t see any barriers to our vision.
“In an era that’s often seen as being hemmed in by bureaucracy and narrow-mindedness, that’s actually very refreshing.
The last time a Formula One car was driven around the streets of Woking was in 1998 when Mika Hakkinen, fresh from winning his first world championship drove an F1 car around the streets of the city.
Speaking about the plan, McLaren Executive Director Zak Brown commented by saying:
It was Mika who first raced a Formula 1 McLaren around the streets of Woking, way back in 1998. When I say ‘raced’, he wasn’t actually racing it, he was driving it. Slowly. Which was probably an even tougher test for Mika, because he never drove anything slowly.
“Still, that event lit a spark that started a fire that turned into a dream that we converted into an idea: to host a round of the Formula 1 world championship on our doorstep, in Woking.
Brown went on to say:
Our engineers, our mechanics, our strategists have all actually driven this track. “In fact, they’ve lived it; which actually gives them a head-start over the rest of the field. They know every bump on the track, every ripple in the Tarmac, every useable rush-hour rat-run, every decent takeaway restaurant within a five-mile radius of the start-line. That’s the sort of advantage you can’t buy…