Horner: Silverstone has opened door for London GP

Red Bull boss Christian Horner says Silverstone runs a real risk of losing the British Grand Prix to a London street race after triggering the break clause in its contract.

Horner: Silverstone has opened door for London GP
Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB12
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB12
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB12
Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB12
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB11

Silverstone’s owners, the British Racing Drivers’ Club, announced on Tuesday that they were bringing an early end to the venue's British GP deal because of unsustainable costs – meaning that 2019 could be the last-ever F1 event at the track.

While the BRDC hopes to renegotiate terms with Liberty Media for a fresh contract from 2020, Horner thinks that F1’s owners could opt to go down a totally different route – especially if a street demo event in London on Wednesday proves a success.

Speaking at Red Bull’s factory on Tuesday, Horner said that Liberty may feel that London could deliver for them, amid recent rumours that an event in the Docklands was being considered.

“Silverstone is a wonderful track,” said Horner. “The teams and the drivers love driving there. Liberty has made a commitment that there will be a British Grand Prix.

"But with this London event happening tomorrow, if that was a success – which hopefully it should be – with the recent legislation changes that are happening in the City of London, one can imagine a London Grand Prix being pretty attractive to the Liberty guys.

“Silverstone needs to be a little bit careful how they handle themselves and negotiate, that they don't find themselves losing out. I am amazed that they have triggered their break clause.”

Horner has said he does not understand why Silverstone has got itself in a situation where the financial terms of a contract agreed long ago no longer work.

“Silverstone signed a contract and they knew what they were entering at the time,” he said. “They have now realised that they can't afford it despite having a full house every year.

"They either should not have signed it in the first place or they got their maths wrong.”

Zero atmosphere

Horner was also scathing of recent developments at Silverstone that have changed the nature of the circuit.

“They spent a fortune on the pits and they put them in the wrong place,” he said. “They have created a paddock with zero atmosphere at one of the most historic race tracks in the UK, so there has been some serious misjudgement and [mis]management, one would say.

“It is the British Grand Prix and Britain should have a grand prix but there has been some questionable calls.”

He added: “My preference would be to see the British Grand Prix stay at Silverstone and hopefully they can thrash out a deal to protect the longevity there.

"But it probably needs a fresh set of eyes to look at how it is run and operated.”

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Silverstone activates 2019 break clause with British F1 GP host at 'tipping point' under contract
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