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Formula 1 racing could be coming to central London next year

Photo: PA

Bernie Ecclestone has told ITV News London a Formula 1 race could be held in central London as early as next year.

He said it would be "fantastic" to have a race in the middle of the capital, and believes it would be popular with viewers.

A proposed London Grand Prix, including sections past Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace, has previously been sketched out.

Races in the Formula E, which uses electric-powered cars travelling at up to 140mph were held in Battersea Park last year.

However, plans for a Formula 1 race in the capital have been held up as secondary legislation is required to allow councils to close roads for high-speed road races.

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said this would be addressed in "due course".

Bernie Ecclestone Credit: PA

The answer is that if it can be done, then yes, we'd love to do it. There is a small technical issue, who is going to pay for it, but apart from that I can't see any dramas.

– Bernie Ecclestone, chief executive of the Formula One Group

Ecclestone believes Lewis Hamilton, who is currently second in the drivers standings and 43 points behind Nico Rosberg, will come back and win this season's championship.

The world champion has endured a frustrating start to the season, with a number of problems with his car.

He's been a bit unlucky this year, I think he'll win the Championship but he's just been a bit unlucky.

He could be a lot more upset. He's upset for sure cause he's a guy who's used to winning and doesn't want to be second but to be second with all the problems he's had is very good.

– Bernie Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone has has responded to British racing driver Alice Powell's comments that his views on women in Formula 1 could stop female drivers being given a chance in the sport.

When asked if he would like to see more female drivers, he responded that he would, adding "stranger things have happened".

It's pretty factual isn't it really - if you think of all the ladies who have tried to be in Formula 1 or tried to be in motorsport and what's happened - it's not that easy.

People don't take them seriously, to put someone in a Formula 1 car it's going to cost a team probably £25-30 million so they have to decide whether or not it's worth doing that or getting someone else in and they probably think at the moment it's a bit of a risk.

– Bernie Ecclestone

At 85, Ecclestone has been in charge of the sport for decades but when asked whether he plans to ever retire, he said: "I don't make plans."