Hill: F1 could still return to Silverstone

British Racing Drivers' Club president Damon Hill has said that Silverstone has been in discussions with Bernie Ecclestone to reclaim the rights to hold the British Grand Prix should Donington Park not be able to

Hill: F1 could still return to Silverstone

Track owner Tom Wheatcroft has entered into legal proceedings against lease owner Donington Park Ventures Ltd over £2.7 million of unpaid rent stretching back to last September. Wheatcroft is also seeking for the lease to be forfeited.

This has thrown the viability of the 2010 British Grand Prix into fresh doubt, and Silverstone, which loses the rights to the event after this year's race, is determined to step in should Donington prove unable to.

"We've had communications," Hill told BBC Radio 5 Live. "There's always been an open line of communication between ourselves and Bernie.

"We're very keen on Formula 1 and Silverstone has a long history with Formula 1, so we've always tried to keep the door open."

Despite Silverstone's willingness to take over the race, Ecclestone reiterated yesterday that should Donington Park not be able to, the British Grand Prix would not be held in 2010.

Ecclestone cited Silverstone's failure to improve its facilities to meet his expectations in recent years.

"There is no question of us going back," he said. "They have had enough chances and have not delivered what they promised."

Ecclestone also hit out at the British government's failure to help the event, especially in light of the vast sums of money being spent on the 2012 London Olympics.

"It's a disgrace that the British government don't step in to help," he said. "They are throwing billions at the London Olympics. They could do what is needed to save the race by putting in a fraction of it - 0.002 per cent."

But Hill stopped short of calling for the government to put money into the race. Although the vast majority of events worldwide benefit from some form of government support, Hill believes that there is an argument that the British Grand Prix should stand on its own feet commercially.

"Some countries are happy to pay as a government for a Formula 1 event because they believe it provides benefits for their country and economy," he said.

"In a free market, if you're arguing there's a market out there for grands prix and that his job is to get the best price he possibly can, if he's doing his job properly he would take the highest bidder. Therefore that's the criteria for getting a grand prix.

"On the other hand, if it's a proper free market then the business should run on proper free market principles which would not require it to receive government investment."

shares
comments
FOTA budget cap response not ready

Previous article

FOTA budget cap response not ready

Next article

McLaren sends written apology to FIA

McLaren sends written apology to FIA
Load comments
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Plus

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021
Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems Plus

Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening day of action for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, on the Istanbul circuit’s much improved track surface. But the Black Arrows squad’s position isn’t quite what it seems. Here’s why

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021
The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower Plus

The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower

On 8 October 1961, Innes Ireland claimed victory at the United States Grand Prix to herald the true arrival of a new Formula 1 giant. While Team Lotus endured plenty of highs and lows until the team folded over three decades later, Colin Chapman's squad made F1 history and helped shape the championship

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021