Ecclestone delivers fresh warning to Silverstone


Strutting around the Shanghai circuit with a healthy spring in his step, smiling warmly as he surveys the latest addition to his global jigsaw, Bernie Ecclestone took time out to warn Silverstone that its future is far from secure.

Bristling with pride as he looks upon this new jewel of the east, Ecclestone accused Silverstone's owners, the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC), of trying to secure the British Grand Prix at a 'bargain price' and warned that removing the event from the calendar would be a simple process.

"It would be as simple as taking the German grand prix, scratching out 'Germany' and putting in 'Britain'," he told The Guardian. "But the BRDC don't want to pay for that. They have a product and they are acting as if the whole world wants to buy it. It's not like that. It's the other way round. The 2005 race is far from secure."

The BRDC has offered to step in and become promoter of the event for the next couple of years, but is offering Ecclestone less money than he's prepared to accept. It should not be forgotten of course, that Ecclestone has already received a nice little earner in the form of a hefty compensation package from former promoter Interpublic.

Ecclestone is hoping that at the end of the day, the British government might step in with financial support, much like the governments in China, Bahrain, Hungary, Turkey…

"Most of the races on the calendar, one way or another, now have support, either from regional sources or the government itself in backing the race," he said. "So, when you think of how much a government needs to spend to put on something like the Olympics - a once-in-a-lifetime event - then the cost of a grand prix looks pretty modest."

That said, the British prime minister has far more pressing matters to attend to at present, and there is still the bitter aftertaste of his previous encounter with F1.

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 23/09/2004
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