Stewart Hits Back at Mosley and Ecclestone

Former World Champion Jackie Stewart has hit back at criticism aired by FIA president Max Mosley and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, questioning their motive to attack the Silverstone track.

Stewart Hits Back at Mosley and Ecclestone

Former World Champion Jackie Stewart has hit back at criticism aired by FIA president Max Mosley and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, questioning their motive to attack the Silverstone track.

Mosley has recently stated that Silverstone was the worst Formula One track in Europe, saying that it's "fairly well down the list of circuits worldwide and probably at the bottom of the list in Europe." Ecclestone too 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.

But Stewart, who is the president of BRDC - owners of Silverstone, responded back to these criticism, saying he does not understand what agenda the heads of the sport have.

"We are having these continual threats being made by Mosley and Ecclestone to remove the race and I just do not understand why they are being so vicious about Silverstone," Stewart told British reporters. "If they have an agenda, I do not know what it is. What I do know is that it is not a fair and level playing field.

"What Mosley and Ecclestone have been saying about Silverstone has gone out of all proportion and reality. Mosley has been quoted as saying he can't guarantee a Grand Prix at Silverstone beyond 2004 but yet he is still talking about going back to Spa in Belgium and other race tracks.

"Silverstone is certainly better than Sao Paulo in Brazil, better than Spa, better than Hungary, better than San Marino and the pits are still better than at Hockenheim in Germany."

Stewart also criticised the financial structure of Formula One, which, he claimed, ensures Ecclestone and the teams get all the money while the tracks themselves get none.

"The financial structure of the World Championship is completely unbalanced, it is all flowing out of the sport" Stewart said at the Goodwood Festival of Speed today.

"Ecclestone's group of companies removes the television money, the circuit advertising, the corporate hospitality -even the title sponsorship of the Grand Prix support races. The only money left for the promoter or circuit owner is from the ticket prices generated by spectators.

"The FIA earned millions when they gave the commercial rights to Formula One to Ecclestone for 100 years. None of that money, to my knowledge, has gone back to circuits but Mosley has nice new offices in Trafalgar Square (London) as well as in Paris and Geneva. And I don't know when he was at Silverstone last."

Stewart added that other circuits, unlike Silverstone, manage to survive due to local government aid. He said: "Places like Spain, France, Australia and Germany receive money from the government - be it national, state or municipal - as do the other new circuits, like Malaysia and the two new venues of Bahrain and China."

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