MOTORSPORT : A trio of team principals have hit back at Bernie Ecclestone’s remark that Formula One does not need a British Grand Prix.
A trio of team principals have hit back at Bernie Ecclestone’s remark that Formula One does not need a British Grand Prix.
The Northamptonshire track remains the only viable option for Britain to continue its hosting of what is officially the oldest race on the calendar following Donington Park’s demise as a replacement venue.
Red Bull’s Christian Horner, Ross Brawn and Bob Bell, currently the acting boss at Renault, are all hoping a deal can be struck and – asked if he disagreed with Ecclestone’s comment – Horner replied: “Absolutely. Silverstone and the British Grand Prix is a very important and significant part of the calendar.”
Silverstone Holdings managing director Richard Phillips met with Ecclestone in Abu Dhabi on Friday in a bid to reach a compromise on their contract stalemate.
The major bone of contention is understood to be a seven per cent escalator clause on the initial �12million deal that would result in Silverstone paying double that amount after 10 years.
Understandably, there is serious concern amongst the teams as to the future of the race, with McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh earlier this week voicing his thoughts.
Horner added: “It’s a historic race that has been there since the start of the world championship.
“It’s a great circuit, the drivers love it, it’s a local grand prix to probably more than 50% of the teams.
“I really and sincerely hope, now the Donington bid has stumbled, a solution can be found between Silverstone and FOM (Ecclestone’s Formula One Management).
“I’m sure every effort is being made to achieve that. Certainly, we would see Silverstone as a great loss from the calendar should it not be there in 2010.”