F1: British Grand Prix ‘in jeopardy’ because of London race talks
Lewis Hamilton urges F1 bosses to keep Silverstone on the calendar
The future of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone is “in jeopardy” after it was revealed that Formula 1 bosses are in talks with mayor Sadiq Khan about hosting a race in London.
Under the current contract this year’s British GP on 14 July is potentially the last at Silverstone.
In July 2017 the owners of the Northamptonshire circuit, the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC), activated a break clause in its contract that releases them from hosting the race beyond 2019.
It was reported at the time that “potentially ruinous” costs were a factor in the decision.
Talks have been ongoing between F1’s owners Liberty Media and the BRDC, but despite claims in April that a new deal had been agreed, there has been no confirmation.
The Daily Mail reports that the BRDC want “written assurances that they have exclusive claims on the famous race” before the 2019 edition in a few weeks’ time.
In the exclusive story today the Mail’s Jonathan McEvoy writes that F1’s talks with the mayor of London over a future race in the UK capital is a “high-stakes gamble that could inadvertently spell the end of the British GP”.
While Silverstone and the BRDC have declined to discuss the negotiations, a spokesperson for the mayor of London said: “London is always open to hosting the world’s biggest and best sport events.
“The mayor believes it should be possible to organise a race in London in the future and has asked his team to explore options with F1.”
In December F1’s head of motorsport Ross Brawn said a new race could be held in London, but it would not replace the British GP at Silverstone.
Brawn added: “We’d like to see London complement Silverstone, not replace it. We could see ways we could make it work both sides.
“London is an iconic city with a massive history in the sport and there’s huge enthusiasm here.”
The Mail says that the Royal Docks in the east London borough of Newham is “being looked at as a potential site”.
Hamilton: Silverstone is awesome
Five-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton wants Silverstone to remain on the calendar and has urged Liberty Media not to turn their backs on the historic circuit.
Quoted by GrandPX, the Mercedes driver said: “There are already some really awesome circuits and Silverstone is one of those.
“The UK is the foundation of what this sport is and if you start taking away the legendary races and it’s all just new ones, you lose all the history and all the culture which is what Formula 1 is.
“It [the British GP] is one of biggest turnouts of all season and you can’t turn your back on that.”