Murmurs started to floor once more this week of the opportunity of the British Grand Prix transferring from its religious dwelling in Silverstone to the capital London.
There’s a very tough resolution that must be made.
This 12 months’s British Grand Prix, which takes place in a fortnight’s time, is scheduled to be the final at Silverstone after the circuit’s house owners, the British Racing Drivers’ Membership (BRDC), activated the break clause of their contract in July 2017.
On the time, the BRDC chairman, John Grant, stated, “We sustained losses of £2.eight million [$5.06 million] in 2015 and £four.eight million [$8.7 million] in 2016, and we anticipate to lose an analogous quantity this 12 months . Now we have reached the tipping level the place we will not let our ardour for the game rule our heads.”
The BRDC’s most important downside financially is that they obtain no authorities assist for internet hosting the grand prix. Because of this the BRDC depends on the revenue from ticket gross sales to cowl the £18.three million [$33 million] payment F1 expenses. The British Authorities has by no means mentioned whether or not it could fund the British Grand Prix, both partially or absolutely, and this can be very unlikely that they’d achieve this in future.
So, the place does F1 go from right here? The BRDC clearly doesn’t need to host one other grand prix due to the unsustainably excessive value that goes with it. Nevertheless, the British followers love Silverstone and wish it the British Grand Prix to remain there, it doesn’t matter what.
That is one thing Liberty Media should consider. Final 12 months’s British Grand Prix was essentially the most attended grand prix of the 2018 season with 340,000 attending throughout the weekend, together with 140,500 on race day. Who can argue that the British Grand Prix shouldn’t be saved with these sorts of figures?
One other downside that Silverstone faces is Liberty Media’s resolution to cap the variety of grands prix that shall be held subsequent 12 months to twenty-one.
“We’ve not finalised the variety of races in 2020, however we at present anticipate it to be 21, the identical as 2019,” F1’s CEO, Chase Carey, defined. “Clearly the maths [sic] implies that we won’t be able to resume all our present races.”
Because of this the British, German, Mexican and Spanish Grands Prix are all liable to being dropped from the calendar. The return of the Dutch Grand Prix subsequent Could implies that the Spanish Grand Prix has already misplaced its conventional slot on the second weekend of Could.
No matter Liberty Media determine to do ultimately, they should do not forget that, whereas F1 ought to jet off to new locations like Vietnam, which hosts its first grand prix in Hanoi subsequent April, this could not come on the expense of conventional and standard grands prix.