Hill urges British government to step in


With the British Grand Prix’s future once again on the line, Damon Hill has called on the British government to help fund the race.

Earlier this week, British Racing Drivers’ Club chairman John Grant warned that the club may be forced to break Silverstone’s contract to host the race.

Grant claimed that the cost of hosting the grand prix is too high, which could have a negative impact on the circuit’s future.

He wrote in a letter to the BRDC members: “Your board would like to preserve the British Grand Prix at Silverstone for many years to come but only if it makes sense to do so. We have to protect our club against the potentially ruinous risk of a couple of bad years.

“Without some change in the economic equation, the risk and return are out of kilter, and so we are exploring various ways in which this might be altered.

“Among other alternatives, the board is considering whether we should give notice before the 2017 British Grand Prix (as required) of our intention to exercise the break clause in the contract at the end of 2019.”

Hill has now called on the British government to step in and save the grand prix.

The 1996 World Champion, a former BRDC president, told PA Sport: “This is a much-loved national event but, for whatever reason, it has always been very difficult to get additional funding from government.

“Maybe now is the time to look at the British Grand Prix in the context of what is happening elsewhere and realise that it is an extremely good shop window for waving our banner and pointing to our brilliance in this field.

“When you think about post-Brexit Britain, you must wonder if this is exactly the type of thing we need to invest in to show off what we can do.”

This, though, is not the first time that the British Grand Prix’s place on the F1 calendar has been under threat.

Hill added: “We have been here before but I am genuinely concerned because John Grant would not say this if this wasn’t the reality of the situation.

“The BRDC behaves like a charity as any money it makes on the race gets poured back into the sport – it cannot be expected to jeopardise its position.”