Silverstone says Formula 1's British Grand Prix is safe to 2026

Silverstone managing director Patrick Allen has confirmed the circuit's contract to host Formula 1's British Grand Prix through to 2026 will be honoured

Silverstone says Formula 1's British Grand Prix is safe to 2026

It recently emerged the Northamptonshire track could activate a break clause in its 17-year deal that would allow it to pull out of hosting the race after next year.

Despite the difficulties in raising the annual hosting fee - which increases year-on-year due to a five per cent escalator clause - Allen has confirmed a business model is in place that guarantees the race's future.

Speaking to AUTOSPORT today, Allen said: "We will be able to see out the contract.

"We can do it because not only do we put on a good show, but we also made a significant improvement on profit from this year's grand prix than we have done in the past. All of that helps.

"But the way I am developing the business is as an attraction and entertainment business where we are generating revenues from not just one race of the year.

"That not only secures the future of Silverstone, but also the future of the grand prix. If it came to it, if we had to subsidise the grand prix, then we could.

"At other circuits there is one big race of the year and that's the end of it, but we are not that.

"We're a 360-day attraction that generates revenues from many other events. We are not totally reliant on one race.

"People get the impression if there is no grand prix there is no Silverstone, and if there is no Silverstone there is no grand prix, well that just isn't the case.

"Silverstone will be able to host the British Grand Prix through to 2026, absolutely."

Allen has confirmed a letter of credit from bankers Lloyds was in place prior to his arrival at the start of the year, allowing Silverstone to pay its hosting fee to Bernie Ecclestone in arrears.

"We've never missed a payment and the letter of credit is in place. There is a contract in place that allows us to do that," added Allen.

"Our bank is comfortable with the situation."

Allen also downplayed comments in which he had described F1 as "a shit product" and "a procession" that made tickets hard to sell.

"The product has been developed from a technical perspective rather than a customer-experience point of view, so the cars are ever more technical and advanced," he said today.

"That said, when there is a disparity between the front two Mercedes cars and everybody else, as it was in the early part of the season when the comments were made, then the product needs to improve.

"What has happened since is that Ferrari and Williams have improved, and what we are seeing is ever closer racing.

"Notwithstanding that, Mr Ecclestone and the FIA are looking at rule changes to produce ever-more exciting racing.

"The comments at the time were apt, but action has been taken, and we're now going to have a better product and a more exciting racing format for 2017."

shares
comments
Russian GP: Honda brings new-spec F1 engine, penalty for Alonso

Previous article

Russian GP: Honda brings new-spec F1 engine, penalty for Alonso

Next article

F1 team radio shouldn't be broadcast says McLaren's Fernando Alonso

F1 team radio shouldn't be broadcast says McLaren's Fernando Alonso
Load comments
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

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?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
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