F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone say he doesn’t want Silverstone to drop out of the F1 calendar, but is confident of finding another venue in Britain as a possible replacement.
BRDC, which owns the Northampshire circuit, warned about the possibility of Silverstone terminating its contract due to rising cost of hosting an F1 race.
Unlike most venues on the F1 calendar, Silverstone doesn’t receive any sort of financial support from the government, leaving ticket sales as the only source of revenue.
Although the circuit has been attracting record trackside audience in recent years, the organisers continue to find it hard to offset the race hosting fee charged by FOM.
Speaking about the gravity of the situation, Ecclestone admitted that the threat of BRDC activating the break clause is real, but he hopes the circuit stays on the calendar till the expiration of the current contract.
“We don't want to lose [it] and we are not going to lose Formula 1 in Great Britain,” Ecclestone told ITV News.
“We won't let them [the fans] down. Maybe there will have to be a year without it, but normally we are going to be alright.”
“We will have to see exactly what is happening and what the problems are. They say they are losing money, but people don't understand why. The place is full and other countries don't have such big crowds as we have and don't have the same problems.
“It's also a bit of a pity that our government doesn't help a little bit because the British Grand Prix is good for England, good for business, good for everybody.
However, should Silverstone does decide to exit Formula 1 at the end of 2019 season, Ecclestone is confident of finding an alternative venue for the British Grand Prix.
Donington Park came close to hosting a Formula 1 race in 2009, while the prospect of a street race in London has been raised a number of times in the past.
“It is not a case of [Silverstone] being good for FOM either because we could go anywhere. It doesn't make any difference. We don't need to fill the bank, which it doesn't do as it happens, because it is the cheapest race we have got.”
“In England we have two other opportunities. Not circuits, two other opportunities. I am not going to say where it is. We will see.
“We are not worried about losing Formula 1 in England, I am worried about losing Formula 1 at Silverstone, that's all.”
by Rachit Thukral