Decsion time nears on British GP at Silvestone

Rumours have once again surfaced that the British Grand Prix faces the axe from the 2002 calendar. A source at the FIA told the AFP ( Agence France-Presse ) today that the decision of whether to keep the race, set for 7th July at Silverstone,...

Rumours have once again surfaced that the British Grand Prix faces the axe from the 2002 calendar. A source at the FIA told the AFP ( Agence France-Presse ) today that the decision of whether to keep the race, set for 7th July at Silverstone, would be taken at the FIA's council meeting on December 14th.

The poor access to the circuit where the race is held has faced serious traffic problems in the past couple of years and fears have risen that 2002 will be no different. The source added that the race could return to the 2003 calender if work on the track was completed in time. At the moment it's not known if another venue will take over from Silverstone should the governing body see fit to remove it.

After the latest reports surfaced, Sir Jackie Stewart has spoken out against the possibility. "Cancelling this grand prix, if it were to happen, and I really don't think it will happen... would obviously dissolve any of the negotiations we're having with the government and would seriously affect motorsport in this country," Stewart told BBC radio today. "Britain is the capital of motorsport. For Britain not to have a grand prix would be ridiculous."

The future of next year's race depends on an inquiry into the traffic problems the Silverstone circuit has experienced. Octagon Motorsport dismissed the possibility of the race not taking place. "The story has no source and is pure speculation," a spokeswoman told the BBC. "The world council meets on 14 December when a decision will be made. It's a democratic process and it would be incorrect to interfere with that."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Jackie Stewart