Brown: Liberty Media should buy Silverstone

09/07/2017
NEWS STORY

With the BRDC understood to be just a couple of days away from triggering a clause that would end its current contract and place the future of the British Grand Prix in limbo after 2019, Zak Brown believes he has the solution.

The American of many hats, believes F1's owner, Liberty Media, should purchase the iconic circuit.

"My view is that Liberty should buy Silverstone," said Brown.

"I have voiced my views on that," he continued, revealing that he already suggested the deal to Liberty. "They listen and they will be quick to tell you if they disagree, and they didn't disagree with the logic.

"But I wouldn't want to put words in their mouths that that mean they are going out and buying it now because I have no idea," he admitted.

The BRDC's main problem - and there are many, including some disastrous management decisions, not least the self-indulgent folly of The Wing - is the contract it entered into with the previous Commercial Rights Holder. Under the terms of the deal, which runs until 2026, while the original race in 2010 cost 12m to stage, an annual increment of 5% means that by 2026 this will have risen to 26m.

First admitting that the clause may need to be triggered late last year, BRDC chairman John Grant claimed that to continue could lead to a "possibly ruinous situation".

"I think Silverstone's a great track," said Brown. "I sympathise if with the escalator they can't make money. We need to figure out a way for them to make money to either create new revenue streams or re-cut the deal."

With Chase Carey adamant that the deal cannot be renegotiated, for such a move would encourage circuit owners to make similar demands, Brown suggests Liberty should consider buying the track.

"I think there should be a Formula One Hall of Fame," he said, "you could do racing schools, eSports. If you owned the property yourself there's a lot of incremental activities.

"Testing… maybe instead of it all being in Barcelona for eight days, you could move forward to Silverstone and really open it up to the fans," he added, the American clearly out of touch with exactly how testing unfriendly the English weather is, especially in February.

"NASCAR owns 22 of the races that they compete at which I think is made up of 12 circuits. Indianapolis owns the Motor Speedway. But I think you've got to buy one before you buy three or four," he suggested.

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Published: 09/07/2017
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