British GP washout blamed on politics

With Silverstone awash with water, and Saturday's qualifying being an almost specatatorless affair when the car parks were closed, people are looking around to find a suitable scape goat. The BRDC have already said the April date was nothing to...

With Silverstone awash with water, and Saturday's qualifying being an almost specatatorless affair when the car parks were closed, people are looking around to find a suitable scape goat. The BRDC have already said the April date was nothing to do with them, whilst Bernie Ecclestone has also said that he proposed an April date, leaving the buck with the FIA. It is believed that FIA politics have lead to the fiasco. Eddie Jordan has said "Maybe the lobbyists in Austria are stronger than they are in Britain, and if they are, then good for them. If we want the race ... back in July we should get on with it now and sort it out."

"Basically, the reason we go to Australia in March and Brazil in March is chasing the weather, coming to Silverstone at the end of April is hazardous in its own case. We know that the weather, even in July or August is somewhat precarious in this part of the world, but to have it at the end of April you're looking for a miracle."

Mika Hakkinen, when asked if the conditions were dangerous, said "Absolutely. You can catch a cold".

Frank Williams, himself a member of the BRDC, said "I am confident it won't happen again, but you can never be certain, depends on how the politics are swinging."

Earlier, Bernie Ecclestone said "People are probably pointing the finger at me, I get the blame for most things, but I do not deserve the blame for this.

"I don't want to go into the reasons why it's in April, but it really is nothing to do with me. I do not want to be here in the wet anymore than anyone else.

"This is the date it was scheduled on the calendar and it could not be avoided.

"Silverstone have done what they normally do, but they have not taken the weather into consideration because they didn't know it was going to be raining. They should have prayed!

"I don't think there will be any concerns about driver safety in qualifying or the race. I have been at Silverstone when it's been raining in July so let's wait and see what happens on Sunday."

Bernie Ecclestone has followed on from his statement that it was nothing to do with him. "I can guarantee 100 percent that it will not be at Easter -- but people should keep Christmas free. It should be in July."

Max Mosley explained the decision thus "I would say there is a very good chance it will be in July next year, but it depends on a number of factors. The problem this year is that Monaco has to be in June, which meant either the French or British Grand Prix had to be in April."

-- Stephen M Baines http://www.motorsport.org.uk

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Mika Hakkinen , Eddie Jordan , Frank Williams , Bernie Ecclestone
Teams Williams , Jordan