Race on to bring Grand Prix to Milton Keynes

Secret plans for F1 to come to city streets

Milton Keynes is set to become the next Monaco by hosting the qualifying heats for the British Grand Prix, the Citizen can reveal.

Silverstone circuit bosses have been secretly locked in negotiations for months planning a route designed to attract the crowds and bring the thrills and spills of Formula 1 racing to a major town.

Already city officials and police bosses are busy plotting road closures for the big day in July, when most of Milton Keynes will officially become a no go area.

The standstill, far from affecting trade, will prove the biggest economic boost the city has ever seen, with thousands of people expected to line the streets or pay up to 50 a ticket for privileged positions – such as the roof of the Xscape building.

But the Citizen can reveal that some of the Formula 1 drivers, including legends such as Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, are worried about tackling the off beat route – because of the number of roundabouts.

A spokesman for McLaren Mercedes said: "Negotiating a roundabout at 100mph is no mean feat.

"But it will add to the challenge and it will be incredible for spectators."

Though plans for the route are still being kept top secret by Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, the Citizen was leaked a sneak preview this week.

We can reveal the race will kick off in John Lewis car park, speed down past the library and civic offices and towards the station before veering off along the V6 in the direction of Bletchley town centre.

From there it will progress along the H8 towards the west of the city for a spectacular finish in Morrisions' car park.

A spokesman for Mr Ecclestone said: "We wanted to bring part of the Formula One experience to ordinary people on ordinary streets because, in these times of recession, tickets to the Silverstone Grand Prix are beyond the budget for many of them.

"Milton Keynes, with its central position and its grid road system, is an ideal venue.

"It will be a truly spectacular day."

For more details or to pre-book a luxury viewing position, visit www.mk.grandprixafool.com