At the opening of the brand new facility for Williams Advanced Engineering today, Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the continued success of Formula One and motorsport in general, in the UK, with many of the teams from Formula One particularly being based in “Motorsport Valley” a.k.a. Oxfordshire.
Of more significance to motorsport throughout the UK, the Prime Minister announced that laws would be changed to give power to local authorities, enabling them to make decisions on a local basis for motorsport events to take place.
David Cameron said:
“To enable more road races for GB motorsport, we are going to change the rules so that local councils are able to make the decisions so you won’t have to have a private members bill passed through parliament, which we feel will be greatly useful for British motorsport. More races, more events. More money coming into our country and more success for this extraordinary industry.”
Up until now, motorsport has been confined to private tracks and hillclimbs, often purpose built for the sport. The relaxation of the law means that there is potential for new events to take place where they had not been possible before. That local road that you know and love could now be permissible for a local road race, with the acceptance of the local authority.
Part of the reasoning for the relaxation is ahead of the forthcoming Formula E season where it has already been agreed London will play host to the final race in the season, on 27th July 2015. Despite having already been agreed, the law had served as a technical thorn in making it actually happen, until now.
Historically, Formula One tried in vain to get permission to create a London Grand Prix, with Bernie Ecclestone at one point considering it as something that might have added interest to the sport at a time when the British Grand Prix was up in the air. As we all know, it never happened, not least because of the laws that are now being relaxed.
The opening of WIlliams’ new facility is dedicated to the research and implementation of Williams Formula One technology into other uses, such as their flywheel technology into microgrids and battery technology that originally derived from work on Formula One KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems) into new ventures such as the FIA Formula E electric racing series.
For more information about what Williams Advanced Engineering offer, we recommend reading our current magazine where we talk to them regarding their input on the Jaguar C-X75 hybrid project. You can get our magazine here on Magzter.