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Ecclestone (fairly) confident for Silverstone

NEWS STORY
10/07/2017

Speaking at the Austrian Grand Prix, just days, it is widely believed, before the British Racing Drivers' Club, which owns Silverstone, triggers a clause in its contract which allows it to terminate the deal after 2019, Bernie Ecclestone has said he would be "surprised" to see the iconic track lose the event.

"I would be surprised if eventually we lose Silverstone," he told Reuters. "It's a good event, and it probably falls into line much more with the way Liberty want to see Formula One go."

For a man who waged a long, bitter war with the circuit and its owners, a war that at times bordered on obsessional, it comes as a "surprise" to hear the former F1 supremo giving his backing to the venue.

Having described the former airfield track as a "dilapidated old house in need of repair", and other things even less flattering, at various times he took the race away and sold it to Brands Hatch and Donington, though both those deals eventually came to grief.

It was Ecclestone who negotiated the deal with the BRDC, then led by Damon Hill, in 2009 that has resulted in what chairman John Grant described as leading to a "potentially ruinous situation", courtesy of an annual 5% increment in the hosting fee, meaning that over the course of the contract the annual fee rises from 12m to around 26m.

With the BRDC expected to trigger the clause over the next 48 hours, many are claiming that with the race safe until 2019, this will give all concerned a couple of years in which to begin fresh negotiations, even though Formula One Management insists there will be no renegotiation.

Insisting that the BRDC had got a "very good deal, Ecclestone said: "I'm surprised they can't make it work.

"At the moment there isn't anywhere else," he added. "There may well be in a couple of years' time. But if they are losing all the money, which is what they say they are doing, they can't continue can they? Because somebody has to pay."

Told of Zak Brown's suggestion at the weekend that Liberty Media should buy Silverstone, Ecclestone, who has made similar moves, dismissed the American's suggestion.

"It's like all these people with ideas who don't really know what they are talking about," he said.

Asked what caused his own bid to buy the circuit to fail, he said: "The BRDC. Just too much confusion... they wanted all sorts of things. Anyway, it couldn't happen."

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1. Posted by edllorca, 10/07/2017 19:12

"Does this guy still haunt us? What will it take for him to go away?"

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