F1’s new owners save British GP at Silverstone
Liberty Media won’t cut race fees, but will support efforts to make the event more profitable for the track’s owners, the BRDC
Formula 1 boss Chase Carey has guaranteed the future of the British GP. Liberty Media, who completed their deal to buy F1 in January, want to protect historic European races, which Carey described as “the foundation of the sport”.
Silverstone’s owners, the British Racing Drivers’ Club, were considering exercising a break clause in their contract after 2019 because they said they couldn’t afford the contract they had struck with former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone in 2009. That contract has an escalator clause that increases its cost by ve per cent each year.
Carey said: “We are going to have a British GP. I have made it very clear that the foundation of the sport is western Europe. There are opportunities to make it much better than it is today.”
Carey said he would enable race organisers to raise more money, but would not reduce fees. “I don’t think we will make them more affordable,” he said. “We will make them more successful.”
BRDC president Derek Warwick said: “We know where we’re going now with Liberty, we know where we’re going with Silverstone. We are positive we can work this grand prix and make a profit in 2017. What he [Carey] is saying to us is he might relax certain restrictions that Bernie [Ecclestone] has had on us over the last few years in terms of merchandising, marketing, sponsorship, etc. Some circuits out there have more flexibility with their contract with Bernie than what we have.”