‘Always a risk Silverstone’s contract won’t be renewed’

Michelle Foster
Silverstone fans pack out the grandstands. Silverstone July 2021

Out of contract with Formula 1 after the 2024 season, Silverstone boss Stuart Pringle admits there is “always a risk” that the British Grand Prix won’t be renewed.

With Formula 1 pushing for new venues, the sport racing in Miami this season with Las Vegas joining the circus in 2023, there are only so many grands prix that can given a spot on the calendar.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has made it clear that history no longer factors, and history is one thing that Silverstone has more than any other circuit.

The Northamptonshire track has been on the calendar since the very beginning of the F1 World Championship back in 1950 but that doesn’t mean it will be there come 2025.

Speaking exclusively to Express Sport, Pringle said: “We haven’t spoken to Formula 1 yet about the future about the next contract. I would be extraordinarily disappointed if they weren’t enthusiastic to have it.

“Formula 1 tells us we are doing a great job, and they tell us that because their fans tell them that. So that’s a very good basis. If we were doing a bad job then that would be a concern.

“We’ve enhanced the facilities here like nothing else… The whole standard of everything at Silverstone is on the up.

“So are we at risk? Well yes there is always a risk. Am I nervous? I back ourselves to state our case.”

The Red Arrows complete a Silverstone flypast. July 2021.

Pringle acknowledges that it is up to Silverstone to put on the best show possible for the visiting fans, and also the teams.

As long as they can excite the crowds, both on and off the track, he believes Silverstone will have a future in Formula 1.

“We’re certainly never complacent,” he said. “We never assume that we are secure forever in a day on the calendar. I think you are only as good as the event you’re putting on because the value in Formula 1 is the event.

“Everybody gets very focussed on fees and money, not that anybody knows what these fees are. I don’t know what the Saudis pay, I’ve no idea what anyone else pays. There’s always a lot of talk about that. Can Silverstone compete?

“Actually, I think we do compete on all sorts of levels and I think there are many elements which should be measured not simply the size of the cheque.”

He added: “We’ve got a fantastic track that throws up great racing, better racing than the street circuits…. We have got all the benefits of history and heritage. We have, if not the biggest crowds of the year, we are always in the top two or three.”

 

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