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Stewart slams F1 bosses over criticism

British Racing Drivers' Club president Jackie Stewart has launched a scathing attack on F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone and FIA president Max Mosley for what he sees as their "vicious" criticism of Silverstone and its ability to competently host the British Grand Prix

Stewart, a former world champion and F1 team owner, confessed he was confused as to why F1's bosses have continued to slam the Northamptonshire venue and have threatened its continued place on the calendar if it does not improve.

"I just do not understand why they are being so vicious," he said. "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 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 Hockenheim in Germany."

Stewart also suggested that Ecclestone could do more to plough profits back into those circuits in need of upgrading through the massive revenues F1 generates. "The financial structure of the world championship is completely unbalanced," he said. "It is all flowing out of the sport.

"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 Mr 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."

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