Silverstone is in negotiations with the government about support as it tries to secure the British Grand Prix beyond 2019.
Derek Warwick, the president of the British Racing Drivers Club which owns the track, revealed talks have also been held with F1’s incoming owners Liberty Media.
“We’ve had meetings with Liberty and Chase Carey, he understands our dilemma, we understand that he still has to make money because that’s what his guys are doing,” Warwick explained at the Autosport International show.
“But I just feel that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I think we will have a grand prix past 2019. We are talking to government, it’s not widely known, but we are talking to government to see if there’s any help here. I’m not really sure.”
“And even Bernie [Ecclestone] now is calling us and saying let’s set up a meeting and talk about it. We’re feeling very positive at the minute.”
Warwick ascribed recent stories about Silverstone’s F1 future to Ecclestone having “nothing to talk about so he picked on Silverstone”.
“We made a note to our members, our Christmas note giving them an update on Silverstone, and a lot of that came out as we were going to the possibility of [using] the break clause before the grand prix this year to break the clause for 2019.”
“Don’t worry, we’ve 100% got a grand prix for the next three years, up until 2019. But I’ve just got a feeling that we can’t do without the British Grand Prix, we can’t do without Silverstone, some compromise will be made either with Bernie or the new people now taking over Formula One which is Liberty.”
Warwick admitted the BRDC is “a bit short of cash” and “would like to resurface the circuit” at a potential cost of up to three million pounds. “We are still looking for something out there.”
“For me personally the second JLR deal which has failed and gone away a few months ago, that hit me hard because I thought that was a nice fit with Jaguar Land Rover and Silverstone. But it didn’t happen, we must move on.”
He also conceded Lewis Hamilton’s failure to win the world championship last year could have an effect on ticket sales for this year’s race.
“It was bit disappointing for me personally that he didn’t win it last year because it really helps the British Grand Prix and the fans,” said Warwick. “But nobody can deny that Nico [Rosberg] [deserved] one.”
“Big shock for everybody when Nico retired, obviously. I can imagine a certain fellow team mate might have been rubbing his hands, wherever he was in the world.”
2017 F1 season
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