Silverstone’s interests ‘protected’ for London GP

Michelle Foster

The 2020 season must start in England says Dutch F1 commentator Olav Mol.

Silverstone’s new deal with Liberty Media has protections in place should F1’s owners press ahead with plans for a street race in London, revealed BRDC chairman John Grant.

After two years of contract negotiations, the British Racing Drivers’ Club and Liberty Media on Wednesday announced a new deal for the Northamptonshire track to host the British Grand Prix.

The new contract runs from 2020 to 2024.

But while Silverstone is the United Kingdom’s sole F1 venue, it could have competition in the coming years as Liberty Media are keen on a London Grand Prix.

Grant says Silverstone’s new deal has protections in place should that happen.

“We recognise Formula 1’s desire to have destination city races, and frankly if that brings a new audience to Formula 1 I think that’s in general a good thing,” he told Autosport.

“We don’t oppose that intent, we support that intent.

“Of course, we are concerned about the commercial threat to us having a competitor event just on our doorstep, and so we’ve had very frank and open discussions with our friends in Formula 1 about that.

“They understand those concerns and I think it’s fair to say we’ve come up with a modus operandi, a set of arrangements, that protect our interests to our satisfaction should that London event ever actually become a reality.”

All you need to know ahead of the 2019 British Grand Prix

Grant, however, would not reveal what exactly those protections are.

He added: “We’re not going into any of our commercial arrangements.

“But we think there is room for the two races to coexist side-by-side as long as they had sufficient separation in time and as long as our commercial interests are recognised in some reasonably flexible way.

“That’s what we got to.”

Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1 and like our Facebook page.