BRDC wants new F1 deal London demo wows fans
British Grand Prix uncertainty, plus all the latest news
THE future of the British Grand Prix is once again up for debate after Silverstone owner the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) activated a ‘break clause’ in its current agreement with Formula One in the lead-up to last weekend’s race. The club says it can’t sustain the losses incurred under the current contract, which sees the hosting fee increase by five per cent each year.
It means that only the 2018 and 2019 races at Silverstone are guaranteed for now, but the BRDC added it hoped to negotiate a revised deal with F1’s new owner, Liberty Media, in order to guarantee the race’s long-term future at the circuit.
Around the same time the BRDC made its announcement, a live F1 demonstration in central London organised by Liberty led to renewed speculation around the possibility of a London Grand Prix. A street race in the capital has been suggested numerous times over the years, but would face significant financial and logistical obstacles.
London mayor Sadiq Khan, who backed the ‘F1 Live In London’ event, told the BBC: “If F1 want to speak to me I’m keen to listen. My ambition is for London to carry on being the sporting capital of the world. There are some hurdles to overcome, but I’m certainly interested in having F1 here in the future.”
Last Wednesday’s demonstration took in the full F1 grid, including every driver except Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. Mclaren and Renault ran historic cars in front of fans, while other teams had their drivers in more recent machinery. The car runs up and down Whitehall were accompanied by live music and other activities at an arena in Trafalgar Square, including an exhibit to boost interest in science and engineering among schoolchildren.
Elsewhere last week, former Renault F1 team boss Frederic Vasseur was confirmed as the Sauber team principal, while Robert Kubica tested once again for Renault, running 90 laps at the Paul Ricard circuit in France as evaluation of a potential comeback continues.
■ CAPITAL ATTRACTION F1 demo thrilled fans, and sparked interest in a London Grand Prix
Crowds flocked to Whitehall and Trafalgar Square to watch F1 stars and a range of cars