Silverstone Future Still in Doubt, Says Mosley

FIA president Max Mosley joined commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone in criticising Silverstone - and did not rule out the possibility that next weekend's British Grand Prix will be the venue's last.

Silverstone Future Still in Doubt, Says Mosley

FIA president Max Mosley joined commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone in criticising Silverstone - and did not rule out the possibility that next weekend's British Grand Prix will be the venue's last.

"Silverstone is fairly well down the list of circuits worldwide and probably at the bottom of the list in Europe," Mosley said. "That is absolutely wrong for the leading motorsport country in the world."

Two new circuits, in Bahrain and Shanghai, have been promised places on the Formula One calendar for next year and one of the current Grands Prix will have to make way for them because the season is limited to 17 races.

Austria is almost certain to make way next year but with a tobacco ban in the European Union threatening to push Formula One out of Europe, the future of Silverstone is set to come into question once again.

Ecclestone has criticised Silverstone continually, ever since fans were left stranded following the April 2000 race when the grass car parks were turned into a quagmire by heavy rain.

After the debacle of 2000, Mosley said it would be "difficult to keep the race on the calendar" if there were similar scenes, but Silverstone averted any problems by reducing their gate and setting up park and ride schemes.

Mosley likened the event to an Olympic Games or a football World Cup and warned the organisers that such a spectacle could not be "held down the end of a lane in a muddy field" and told them to "up their game."

Two years on, the BRDC and the British Grand Prix organisers, Brands Hatch Circuits Ltd., have developed the venue significantly; there is a brand new dual carriageway into the circuit, tarmac carparks and the organisers have been promoting their improved facilities including more toilet blocks and a state-of-the-art traffic control centre.

But when asked if the circuit will be handed a Grand Prix in 2004, Mosley told BBC Five Live: "It's too early to say. All I can say is that the problem is solvable. What I can't say is whether it will be solved."

He hinted that the BRDC were the ones to blame for the poor facilities and added: "As the people who rent the circuit are paying enough money to allow the investment to do the work it should be done.

"The government, and to some extent Silverstone, have solved the problem of the roads. Now they've got to sort the circuit out and then we'll have a facility of which we can be proud."

The government revealed last week that they will plough £16 million (Pounds) into the British motorsport industry and confirmed they are committed to ensuring the country continues to hold the British Grand Prix in the future.

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