Start, Silverstone, 2018

British Grand Prix could leave Silverstone – Liberty

2018 F1 season

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Formula 1 owners Liberty Media say they are prepared to move the British Grand Prix away from Silverstone if they cannot agree terms with the BRDC, who promote the race.

Next year’s British Grand Prix is the last in its current contract since the BRDC activated an exit clause in its deal with F1. The race promoters are seeking more favourable commercial terms for its next deal.

No circuit other than Silverstone has held the British Grand Prix in the last 30 years. But in a press release ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix F1’s commercial managing director Sean Bratches made it clear Silverstone’s history as a grand prix venue will not ensure it a place on future schedules.

“We’re a 68-year-old entity and the nature of grand prix racing is that it is dynamic,” said Bratches.

“Silverstone was the first grand prix, but we haven’t raced at Silverstone all [of] those 68 years. The race has been held at Brands Hatch and other venues. Nothing is immutable in this sport in terms of where we race.

“We do value certain races highly and we do what we can to preserve racing there, but we are a business. We are a public company and we have a lot of stakeholders and shareholders and we’re trying to marry what’s best for fans with running a successful business.”

Brands Hatch last held the British Grand Prix in 1986. It no longer holds the necessary FIA grade one licence to hold F1 racing. A plan to reinstate it as the home of the race failed in the early 2000s.

The only other British track to hold a round of the world championship since Brands Hatch is Donington Park, which held the 1993 European Grand Prix. In 2008 the track won a deal to host the British Grand Prix from 2010, but its plan also fell through and the race remained at Silverstone.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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24 comments on “British Grand Prix could leave Silverstone – Liberty”

  1. At last some good news!

    1. @huhhii Seriously, as much as Silverstone is always a great event, I’m tired of the BRDC sabotaging the hell out of the event. Every damn year it’s the same. The threats, etc. Britain has plenty of good circuits, it wouldn’t be the end of the world if Silverstone was gone from the calendar. Maybe it would teach them.

      1. @ajpennypacker It used to be a great track but they completely ruined it in 2010 renovation. The new section kills the flow it used to have. I wouldn’t miss Silverstone at all.

        I’d love to see F1 visiting Donington for a change. Brands Hatch would be even better, but it’s not gonna happen. Too fast and too narrow.

        1. @huhhii I don’t find the 2010-present section to be killing the flow. TBH, I prefer it over the previous bridge layout section.

  2. Well, I guess they have to say something to appear to their shareholders to have some cards in a negotiation; in reality, they have to face the question how much they need a UK race, because in the short term there just doesn’t seem to be an alternative to Silverstone; so only if they would like, but not need, that race, do they really have a good position.

    1. @bosyber Liberty could just go for that London grand prix.

      1. I am sure they’d want to, but I can’t really see that happening all that quickly; just see how much trouble even the formule-e race had to stay around @spoutnik, and they have a lot less noise and red tape to cut. Of course, London probably would be more eager for the spectacle of F1, but not everyone, and some would be much more against it, because it is a bigger thing.

  3. Axe it. I don’t care much for the British Grand Prix if I am honest. Since they changed the track layout it has gone down in my appreciation, it is terrible now. Really flat and boring, no overtaking opportunities.
    Lets get another race in the US. Laguna Seca, Road America, Watkins Glen, you pick… it would be awesome to have an F1 race in any of those tracks.

  4. Of course they’re going to say that. It’s negotiations 101, if the other side can’t or is unwilling to walk away from the table without a deal, you rake them over the coals and take everything you can from them. Both sides will posture like they’re ready and willing to walk away from the table so the other side will give in a little and they’ll make a deal.

  5. Every year the same story, with only the owners of F1 seeming to change…

  6. Luke Hamblett
    7th November 2018, 22:40

    I would love to know where else they think the British GP could be held? there are only two other circuits with any chance, Brands Hatch which is far to dangerous for F1, no run off and to narrow and Donington Park which has only just recovered from the last botched F1 attempt. No Silverstone means no GP.

    1. Where else ? A british GP could be held in Anguilla, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar etc.
      But why wouldn’t the BRDC jump at the opportunity to lose a few million pounds for the pleasure of organising an F1 race, after all Liberty don’t need to hold any races, they are just doing the local promoters a favour.

    2. With the recent trend been towards street circuits I don’t think the lack of a suitable permanent circuit alternative is as big of an issue as it used to be.

    3. This will end with Qatar buying the naming rights and hosting the “British Grand Prix” :)

      1. @krommenaas Good one, LOL.

    4. London street race.

  7. Castle Combe International Raceway! Make it happen, Liberty. Add in another couple of miles of Tilke-smooth tarmac goodness and you’re good to go!

    1. Cadwell Park is calling!

  8. Aintree
    You heard it Here First

  9. Quick, stop the bulldozers at Rockingham. We don’t need more houses, we need a new/freshly rejuvenated circuit!

  10. One thing I fail to understand – Brands Hatch isn’t currently acceptable (apparently) because it doesn’t have a ‘full F1 licence’…
    Yet cities like Singapore and Hanoi (etc.) can apparently erect a few grandstands, and lights, and are fine…
    Brands Hatch already has stands, and doesn’t need lights, so why should it be so much more difficult to hold the GP there…
    In case anyone thinks I’m just a BH-fan… I live a very long way from the circuit, and would not be attending, if it happened.
    And, to the comment above, about Brands Hatch being too dangerous for F1, because it doesn’t have any run-offs…: Twaddle…!

  11. With Bernie you knew he wasn’t bluffing. He dropped Spa in the past, pulled out of America, France didn’t have a race for a decade, there were races in South Korea and India.

    With Bernie it was clear. You pay me the money otherwise I will take the race elsewhere and promoter knew he wasn’t joking.

    Whereas Liberty Media has sounded out that they want to take races to traditional market, that their strategy relies on traditional markets, that they are willing to accept less money to host in these traditional markets.

    Really, Liberty Media has to accept what Silverstone are willing to pay. Liberty needs a British GP more than Silverstone needs to host a race.

  12. F1 could brand Ho Chi Minh GP as British Grand Prix…

  13. British GP may go to limbo for all I care, since they won’t consider Brands Hatch just to favour some street track bs.
    Regarding Silverstone, whatever. They have amazing facilities, but never nail the track layout anyway.

Comments are closed.