Stewart: GP loss would be 'irresponsible'

Three-time world champion Jackie Stewart insists that it would be "irresponsible" of the UK government not to help safeguard the future of the British Grand Prix

Stewart: GP loss would be 'irresponsible'

Stewart, who preceded Damon Hill as president of the British Racing Drivers' Club, believes that politicians must be willing to play a larger role in ensuring the future of the race.

"We were the first to hold a world championship grand prix in 1950 and we've never missed it since," Stewart told the BBC's grand prix coverage. "To lose that now would be irresponsible for the sport itself, maybe for the commercial rights holder and for the British government.

"They have supported many other sports far and beyond anything that they have ever given to motor-racing. It's no good any MP telling me that motor-racing is a rich sport and that the government could not be seen to be rescuing it. That is wrong.

"It is a very successful industrial sport that brings jobs to our country and prestige to us on a global basis. We must make it stay in Britain and our politicians should be playing a bigger role in that."

Stewart echoed Bernie Ecclestone's suggestion that the government should be willing to invest a tiny fraction of the costs needed to run the 2012 London Olympics to save the British Grand Prix. The Scot has long advocated such a course of action.

"I have been saying that for a great many years," he told the BBC. "Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone disagreed with me. They did not think that we should be asking for government money and were quite vocal in that criticism of me.

"I'm glad they've changed their minds because both of them have said the government money should be supplied.

"When you see what has been done for the Olympics and the amount of money for some stadiums that maybe will only be used for that and then broken down, it would be stupid of the government [not to help the British Grand Prix].

"We have got an industry that is dependent on motorsport. Nearly 50,000 jobs in the UK would be at risk. That has got to be kept alive for UK PLC to keep the British GP in this country."

Stewart also supported Silverstone's suitability to take over should Donington Park not be able to host the race in the wake of fresh concerns over the viability of holding the British Grand Prix at the 1993 European GP venue.

"If Donington were unable to hold the British Grand Prix for financial or other reasons, then the natural suggest would be that Silverstone would be the perfect place for it to run," said Stewart.

"I hope they could relight the fires at Silverstone to at least hold it in 2010 and then try to get the government and other people involved to create facilities that would be acceptable to Bernie Ecclestone and the commercial rights holders that he represents, as well as the FIA."

shares
comments
Rosberg back on top in second practice

Previous article

Rosberg back on top in second practice

Next article

Government not willing to pay for GP

Government not willing to pay for GP
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?

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
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