It's about athletes, not engines! IOC rules F1 out of Olympic programme
12:22 GMT, 8 July 2012
International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge has ruled out Formula One as an Olympic sport saying that the games are about athletes, not engines.
Rogge is at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix, and although he admits the F1 drivers are 'very courageous,' he adds that the 'concept we are having is the games are about the competition for the athletes, not for equipment.'
Athlete The likes of Lewis Hamilton will not compete at the Olympics
The IOC chief, who was attending the British GP as a guest of supremo Bernie Ecclestone, believes the Games movement can learn from Formula One but motorsport should not be included in the Olympic agenda.
'While having a lot of respect, (motorsport) will not be included into the Olympic programme,'
'I am absolutely confident the London Olympics will take place as they should. The organising committee has done a tremendous job.
'They have respected the deadlines, they have stayed within budget, and they have shown a lot of creativity in everything they have done.
'We’re coming to a nation that invented modern sport in the second half of the 19th century.
'We’re also coming to a nation that has included sport in its school curriculum, and it’s a nation that loves sport, knows sport, and that will show.'
Respect: Jacques Rogge (left) respects F1 and organisers like Bernie Ecclestone (right)
The 70-year-old Belgian was given a guided tour of the Silverstone's 27million pit-and-paddock complex that was unveiled a year ago.
Organisers have been under severe pressure these past few days because of the weather conditions, which reduced car parks to mud-baths and led to miles of queues.
Despite the issues pertaining to the Northamptonshire circuit, Rogge said: 'I think Formula One is an extremely well organised sport, both on the track and in general.
'There’s a lot that we can learn from Formula One. We have many similarities – it’s a sport with great competitors who prepare very hard.
'In the mind we want to go faster, higher, stronger, and it’s exactly the same mind as Formula One, going faster and better.
'We have the same pursuit of excellence, so of course I have the highest respect for the drivers.'
Hamilton (right) and Fernando Alonso before the British Grand Prix
With regard to Silverstone, Rogge added: 'I’ve been through the organisation this morning with Bernie.
'I went to the broadcasting centre, the pits, and everything is very well organised. Believe me there are a lot of things we can learn from the organisation here.'
With Silverstone a victim of the overwhelming rainfall that has hit the country these past few weeks, there are fears the open-air events at the Games could also suffer.
In particular, the Olympic Stadium is uncovered, but Rogge said: 'I live in Belgium, so whatever rain arrives in Belgium is left over from England…no, we’ll manage.'