Stewart urges support for British GP

Stewart urges support for British GP

Sir Jackie Stewart is urging the British government to support the annual Grand Prix at Silverstone, and warns that the threat of losing the race is very real. Bernie Ecclestone has repeatedly cast doubt on the future of the British GP and wants...

Sir Jackie Stewart is urging the British government to support the annual Grand Prix at Silverstone, and warns that the threat of losing the race is very real. Bernie Ecclestone has repeatedly cast doubt on the future of the British GP and wants Silverstone upgraded to match the facilities of new circuits such as Bahrain.

Jackie Stewart.
Photo by Dave Dyer.

Stewart, president of the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) that owns Silverstone, wants to see a firm partnership between the BRDC, the UK government and Ecclestone's Formula One Management.

"It is our continuing aim to secure the long-term future of the race circuit as a world class Formula One venue," he said in his president's statement to the Club. "We endeavour to make improvements to the circuit and its facilities at Silverstone to the best of our financial abilities -- otherwise the British Grand Prix will continue to be under threat."

The former F1 champion went on to say: "Every other government of every other country (with the exception of the USA) on the F1 calendar, and those countries trying to achieve a Grand Prix for the first time, recognise that they must help finance a premier circuit. We are asking our Government to give us a fair and level playing field with the rest of the world."

"Those who think that the threat to the British Grand Prix is unreal do not understand the financial might of new entry countries such as China and Bahrain, including the possible additions of Turkey and India in the future. The UK will lose out if we do not get our act together."

Ecclestone recently took over the rights to the British GP when promoter Interpublic bought itself out of its contract, but he said he wants a new promoter to come forward rather then run the race himself. The San Marino GP at Imola is also under threat of being dropped from the calendar unless it too upgrades its facilities.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jackie Stewart , Bernie Ecclestone