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F1 stars on holiday: Webber and Ecclestone visit the Olympic Games in London


By Berthold Bouman

It’s now Formula One’s official summer break, factories are closed and not just the drivers, but also all personnel are enjoying a well-deserved holiday. The next race is the Belgian Grand Prix on September 2, meanwhile another sporting event, the London 2012 Olympics, is a big attraction for some of the Formula One stars.

Mark Webber, Red Bull Racing

Mark Webber, who finished eighth in the Hungarian Grand Prix, visited London just to relax and to watch his sporting heroes at the Olympics. He watched basketball and also Michael Phelps’s last swimming race ever on Friday. He also was present at an Australian sponsor venue and told, “I’m loving it, brilliant! There’s no racing stuff going on.”

On his Twitter account he said, “Mega day at the Olympics yesterday thanks to @QantasAirways loved every minute. Now feet up tv watching today’s action. Have followed the jess and mo story for the last couple of years, and tonight that was bloody inspiring stuff. Class people and athletes.”

Australian Webber loves the great outdoor life, and outside motorsport enjoys road cycling and mountain biking, he also plays tennis and is a rugby fan.

Less of a sportsman is 81-year old Bernie Ecclestone, the Nestor of Formula One, and not surprisingly, he had different interests in the 2012 Olympics staged at his hometown London. He visited the Olympic Park on Saturday and watched the athletes, but also had something else on his mind.

His latest brainchild is a Formula One race in and around the London Olympic Stadium, and asked whether his plan would be feasible he said, “It’s surprising how many people have come out, it’s good. I’m sure we’d get big crowds. 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.”

Formula One has had more plans for a race in London, but in the past there have been financial, political and environmental concerns, but Ecclestone remained upbeat, “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.”

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