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Carey confirms F1 still seeking London race

NEWS STORY
10/07/2019

As predicted by Pitpass, whereas the previous contract for Silverstone to host the British Grand Prix was for 17 years, the new agreement is for just five.

The reason for this is that five years will allow both sides - the British Racing Drivers' Club owned circuit and Formula One Management - to see if the new deal is viable while also allowing both to look at various other options.

Since Liberty Media bought the sport at the beginning of 2017 it has made no secret of its desire to take the sport on to the streets of London and various other so-called "destination cities".

In fact, hopes of F1 racing in London go back to the 1970s, when, for a time, motor sport had to rely on the streets of Birmingham instead.

Despite the local authority's feelings towards the environment and cars in general, the London Mayor has given positive signals to FOM as it seeks to realise its dream.

While a race taking in Christian Horner's beloved landmarks is out of the question, an event further east, most likely in the area in Stratford which hosted the Olympics in 2012, is far more likely.

Of course, should FOM get its way, a race in London could sit alongside the traditional Grand Prix at Silverstone. However, struggling to break even, despite record attendances in recent years, Silverstone MD, Stuart Pringle, recently admitted that a London race would impact ticket sales for his event, which further compromised hopes of agreeing a new deal.

Speaking at today's press conference, Chase Carey admitted that he is still seeking a race in London, while BRDC chairman, John Grant insisted there is room for both events.

"We have interest from a lot of places and the discussions with London are ongoing," said Carey. "We look forward to continuing to have those discussions.

"It will be a different experience and we will see where they take us," he added. "But certainly in the short term our focus is here on Silverstone to make sure we continue to build on the new contract."

"We recognise Formula One's desire to have destination city races," said Grant, "and frankly if that brings a new audience to Formula One, I think in general that is a good thing. We don't oppose that and we certainly support the intent.

"Of course, we are concerned about the commercial threat to us of having a competitor event on our doorstep so to speak, and just 85 miles or so away," he admitted. "So we have had very frank discussions with our friends at Formula One about that and they understand those concerns, and it's fair to say we have come up with some modus operandi, a set of agreements, that protect our interests to our satisfaction should that set of events ever become a reality.

"We are not going to get into any of our commercial arrangements," he insisted, "but we think there is room for two races to co-exist side-by-side as long as they have sufficient separation in time and as long as our commercial interests are recognised in some reasonably flexible way."

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1. Posted by FQITW, 11/07/2019 10:43

"@Editor
I have heard exactly the same from friends who ran a business there while the area was being prepared for the Olympics. They have since relocated."

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2. Posted by Editor, 11/07/2019 9:57

"@ FQITW

Stratford is what President Trump would describe as a "sh*thole".

It was long before the Olympics, it remains so and for evermore shall be so.

Just passing through it is more than enough."

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3. Posted by FQITW, 11/07/2019 9:10

"Is Stratford now a 'go to' destination?"

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