New threat to F1 at Silverstone?


As it stands, next month's British Grand Prix at Silverstone is the last.

While there are ongoing behind the scenes discussions, mainly about money, there is currently no news on whether the Northamptonshire track, which hosted the very first Formula One race in 1950, will retain its place on the calendar.

However, with F1 bosses making no secret of their desire to see a race in London, most likely in the Stratford area of east London where the 2012 Olympics were held, bosses at Silverstone admit they fear that such a race would compromise their own event.

"F1 have admitted to us for the first time that they want to have a race in London," Silverstone MD, Stuart Pringle told the BBC. "That's a material change because it's different to previous arrangements and Britain is not a very big island. It's a commercial concern.

"Throughout this process we have sought to manage the significant risk that comes with promoting an F1 race and this does nothing to reduce it," he continued. "In fact, it significantly increases the risk to Silverstone that only a few short years ago was nearly obliterated by its commitment to F1 and trying to maintain a British Grand Prix.

"We metaphorically and literally cannot afford to go back to that position," he insists. "But we are still very much talking. They've always said they want a British Grand Prix at Silverstone and we've always said we want to host one."

As recently as March, F1 MD, Ross Brawn admitted that a race in the capital was very much on the 'wish list'.

"London would be a different race than the British GP," he said. "It is a city race, there is a place for both.

"But I don't think it's feasible to have a London race in the middle of London, unfortunately," he admitted, "the chaos and impact it would have would be too severe. But on the periphery of London there are a number of areas that could work. I don't see it as it would necessarily replace the British GP; it would be the London GP."

F1, which prefers to do its contractual negotiations in private, would only comment: "We are still in constructive talks with Silverstone."

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Published: 29/06/2019
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