Olympics-Ecclestone says Olympic Park F1 would draw big crowds

LONDON Sat Aug 4, 2012 6:50pm BST

LONDON Aug 4 (Reuters) - Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone said on Saturday crowds would flock to watch motor racing if it was staged at Britain's 2012 Olympic stadium, currently hosting track and field events.

The possibility of motor racing taking place at the stadium in east London, once the athletes have gone home, is one of four bids being considered by the London Legacy Development Corporation.

The motor racing bid involves a little-known company acting in association with Formula One, though Ecclestone has denied any direct involvement.

The bid appears to be a long shot, but the 81-year-old British billionaire has spoken in the past about his interest in hosting a race in London.

The F1 boss, who was in the Olympic Park on Saturday watching various sports, seemed also to be taking the chance to assess whether motor racing could work at the site.

"It's surprising how many people have come out, it's good. I'm sure we'd get big crowds," he said, when asked by Reuters if motor racing would make a good fit.

"It depends on the circuit, at the moment we are just looking at that. Somebody is looking about going into the centre of the arena and out again, so whether that is going happen or not, we'll have a look and see."

The motor racing bid was made in association with a company called Intelligent Transport Services, the London Legacy Development Corporation said.

Premier League West Ham United remain the favourites to become tenants. The other bidders are Leyton Orient Football Club and the UCFB College of Football Business. It is unclear when a decision will be made.

Ecclestone has long backed a street race in the capital, although money, political and environmental concerns have all proved insuperable obstacles in the past.

"We looked before about something more in central London, so we'll see what happens. Let's get this out the way, and then we'll have a look at it," he said.

The 2014 Winter Games in the Russian resort of Sochi has a grand prix as part of its legacy planning. (Editing by Matt Falloon)