GP greats defend Silverstone

A trio of British Grand Prix legends have defended Silverstone's suitability to host British motorsport's blue riband event, following FIA president Max Mosley's scathing attack on the Northamptonshire track

GP greats defend Silverstone

Mosley, the president of the sport's governing body, described Silverstone's facilities and traffic management as "shaming" to Britain - adding further impetus to Brands Hatch's efforts to bring the event back to Kent for 2002.

But speaking at this weekend's Coys International Historic Festival at Silverstone, recently-knighted GP great Sir Stirling Moss and 1964 world champion John Surtees said the race should stay at its present home, while 'people's champion' Nigel Mansell has blamed a lack of local government investment for the track's traffic problems.

"As a location, Silverstone can never compete with the bowl at Brands Hatch," said Moss. "But that's not comparing like with like. Practically speaking, all the stuff you need to run a modern Grand Prix is already here at Silverstone, and that's all you need. Really, it should stay here."

Moss also defended the circuit against the parking chaos caused by water-logged car parks turning into seas of mud at this year's Easter weekend race.

"Getting blamed for the weather in April is just not on," he said. "Max and Bernie (Ecclestone, F1 boss) need to look at it realistically and not change the venue, just the date. What's wrong with going back to the traditional July date?"

Surtees, a world champion on two and four wheels, added: "I've been to plenty of Grands Prix and traffic jams aren't unique to Silverstone. Getting in is never the easiest thing anywhere. In terms of the actual facilities at Silverstone, I don't concur with Max Mosley at all.

"As an organisation, Silverstone must look inwards and always strive to improve, but it's my own thinking that there is only one venue to host a Grand Prix of today's magnitude, and that's here. Nowhere else could really cope."

Mansell, the 1992 world champion and a GP winner at both British venues, called on Silverstone's local authorities to help the circuit solve its traffic problems.

"The infrastructure of roads around the circuit is the biggest problem, not the circuit itself," said Mansell. "And for the roads to be improved, Silverstone needs help from the council. The problem we have here now is the result of these problems not being addressed in the past.

"But even if the infrastructure is sorted and improved," he added, "it's the heavens up there that we can't control."

Silverstone has a provisional May 13th date on next year's F1 calendar, but must satisfy the FIA World Council, the sport's rule-making body, that it has tackled its traffic and parking problems before it is guaranteed the 2001 race.

shares
comments
Mansell: I could still qualify on the front row in F1

Previous article

Mansell: I could still qualify on the front row in F1

Next article

Tony Brooks: A lap of Silverstone circa 1952

Tony Brooks: A lap of Silverstone circa 1952
Load comments
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Plus

Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Plus

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of “glory” if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1’s other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021