Stalemate over British GP future

Bernie Ecclestone's Formula One Management company has stated that "no progress" was made in a top-level meeting concerning the future of the British Grand Prix yesterday (Tuesday)

Stalemate over British GP future

Ecclestone has set a mid-August deadline for Silverstone's owners to commit to a £40million loan to fund the upgrade of the circuit or he will look elsewhere for a venue to host the British Grand Prix.

FOM met with Silverstone owners the British Racing Drivers' Club, British GP promoters Brands Hatch Circuits, the Department of Trade and Industry and the East Midlands Development Agency concerning the future of the race. A proposal was put forward to secure the event until at least 2015 which, according to FOM, did not include the BRDC raising money or taking any financial risk.

But an FOM statement today stated: "Unfortunately, no progress was made with the BRDC representatives."

The BRDC has defended its position, however, and president Jackie Stewart said he was "baffled" by the content of the FOM release. He says the BRDC offered to reduce its rent in the discussions.

"We don't want to be blamed for losing the British Grand Prix," said Stewart. "We have to get the partners around the table to make it work. If we have to reduce the rent, then that is what we have to do. But that can only be one part of it."

He added: "The British Grand Prix is not owned by the BRDC. We don't own the rights, we are not the promoter, the organiser or the sanctioning body. But we all want to retain the British GP.

"We have to find the monies but the financial structure of the Formula 1 World Championship means it is difficult to allow any more back into the sport. When the British GP was under the auspices of the BRDC there was a small amount of profit. But that was a different fee structure. The fees are so high now that it's almost impossible for the rights holder to make money. It's why governments are now owning race tracks."

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