F1: Lewis Hamilton will fight to keep British Grand Prix at Silverstone
Reports suggest that a new deal could be announced before Sunday’s race
2019 Formula 1 British Grand Prix
- When: 12-14 July
- Where: Silverstone, Northamptonshire, England
- Race start time: 2.10pm on Sunday 14 July
- TV coverage: live on Sky Sports and Channel 4
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has warned Formula 1 that the sport could lose “so much of its essence” if the British Grand Prix at Silverstone disappears from the race calendar.
This year’s grand prix at Silverstone could be the last as the current contract is set to expire.
The Times reports that the circuit’s owners and F1 bosses are “locked in talks” over a new deal and there’s hope that an announcement could be made before Sunday’s race.
Silverstone hosted the first F1 race in 1950 and the Northamptonshire circuit has been the permanent home of the British GP since 1987.
When asked about Silverstone’s future, five-time world champion Hamilton told Sky Sports: “The ultimate race circuit. This is a grand prix we can never lose. Formula 1 loses this and it loses so much of its essence.”
Stevenage-born Hamilton, a five-time winner of the British GP, added: “It feels to me ‘not while I’m racing’. Not while I’m here, I’ll fight for it.
“This has the biggest crowd of the whole year, the biggest attendance of the season, and there’s no way I would allow that to happen. We have to fight for it.”
Silverstone to be saved
The Daily Mail says that Silverstone is “almost certain to be saved this week” as the long-running saga over the British GP’s future looks set to come to an end.
David Richards, chairman of the British governing body, the Motor Sports Association, told the Mail: “I’m very positive there will be a successful conclusion before the grand prix.
“The fundamentals, the financial side, have been agreed. It is just the final details that need to be signed off, and I am confident they will be.”
2020 start date confirmed
F1 has confirmed that the 2020 season will start in Melbourne with the Australian Grand Prix on 15 March.
Marking the start of F1’s 70th anniversary, chairman Chase Carey said: “The Albert Park circuit is one of the most popular on the calendar. There is no better place to start the 2020 season.”
It’s not just the future of the British Grand Prix that’s in doubt for next year, the BBC reports, but also the races in Germany, Mexico and Spain.
Already it has been announced that the Dutch Grand Prix and Vietnam Grand Prix will be on the 2020 calendar, so the final two spots on the 21-race schedule will be between Britain, Germany, Mexico and Spain.
All four races are out of contract this year.