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Silverstone working to save Grand Prix

NEWS STORY
13/01/2017

Speaking in Birmingham, British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) President Derek Warwick has sought to play down fears that Silverstone is to lose the British Grand Prix.

Fears for the race resurfaced earlier this month when the club's chairman wrote to members warning that the cost of keeping the event posed a "potentially ruinous risk".

Consequently, he warned that before this year's event, as required by its agreement, it is the club's intention to exercise the break clause in its contract with FOM at the end of 2019, which would effectively mean no race at Silverstone from 2020.

However, he admitted that this was one of a number of options as the club sought to keep the race, "but only if it makes sense to do so".

Speaking to race fans in Birmingham, Warwick was keen to allay their fears, insisting that talks are being held with various parties in an attempt to save the race.

"We sent a Christmas note to our members giving them an update," he said. "A lot of that came out as there was the possibility of activating the break clause before the Grand Prix this year, for 2019.

"Don't worry," he insisted, "we 100% have it for next three years, up until 2019.

"We can't do without the British Grand Prix, we can't do without Silverstone," he continued, "so some compromise will be made, either with Bernie or the new people that are now taking over, Liberty.

"We have had meetings with Liberty and Chase Carey," he revealed, "he understands our dilemma. We understand he still has to make money because that's what these guys are doing.

"There is light at the end of the tunnel, we will have grands prix past 2019. We're talking to the government to see if there is any help there. Even Bernie is calling us and saying 'let's set up a meeting and we'll talk about it'.

"We are feeling very positive at the minute," he claimed. "There are a lot of good things happening at Silverstone like World Rallycross, MotoGP, WEC, British Superbikes and Classic. Of course we're a bit short of cash, we would like to resurface the circuit and so on. We are still looking for something out there."

The news comes a day after Jonathan Palmer's Motorsport Vision added Donington Park to its ever growing roster of circuits, clear proof that track owners can make money if the business is well run and impossible deals are not entered into.

And at a time of increasing cuts, when the NHS is in crisis, no government will want to be seen handing cash to a sport as frivolous as F1.

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1. Posted by Peter Rickitt, 13/01/2017 17:14

"Here we go again.
The BRDC dreaming of saviours of the product of their own self-indulgence - be it Liberty, Bernie, Government: I am surprised Santa Claus is not on the list.
If those of their members who have made and continue to make considerable money out of the sport from self-promotion or related industrial interests are not willing to club together and put their collective hands in their pockets to support the Grand Prix, then we do not deserve to have one, at least not under the BRDC's
auspices.
Perhaps they should simply hand Bernie the keys to everything but their precious clubhouse and tell him to get on with it - ' Gentlemen, I will be back' I heard him say at a meeting some years ago: well let him back, on the basis a British Grand Prix continues but he owns Silverstone - possibly managed by the real custodian of British motorsport, Jonathan Palmer, unless he is (as I personally hope) sensible enough not to spread himself and his team too much by taking on this 'bridge too far'.
Mr. Warwick - if you and your members wish to continue to claim yourselves as custodians of the miserable Silverstone as the self-styled 'home of British motorsport', then 'pay up and play the game', taking advice from JP, or show true unselfishness by giving Silverstone away.




"

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