F1 must make ‘sensible’ British GP offer

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The British Grand Prix is live on radio 5 live and the BBC Sport website

F1’s owners have not come up with a “sensible” offer to try to secure the future of the British Grand Prix, a source close to Silverstone says.

The circuit bosses are poised to activate a break clause in its contract that would cancel the British Grand Prix after 2019.

A source close to Silverstone owners the British Racing Drivers’ Club said: “The BRDC is ready to sit down with (F1) to work out a solution that ensures a long-term, financially viable future for the British Grand Prix.”

The source added: “However, for negotiations to go anywhere there must be sensible offers made by both sides, based on a better understanding of the numbers.”

The clause to end the race has to be activated before the British Grand Prix weekend from 14-16 July. This is all but certain to happen.

The BRDC was not available for comment on the matter.

The comments from the source close to Silverstone are a response to information leaked to Reuters news agency last week, which said Silverstone had rejected an offer from F1 to take over the race for five years, which would absorb annual loses of between £2-3m.

F1 chairman Chase Carey says he prefers to do business negotiations privately

The story also said an offer to delay the deadline for a decision until the end of July had been rejected.

The BRDC turned down the offer because it did not make financial sense for the organisation, the source said.

It would have meant handing Silverstone over free of charge to a third-party promoter for three weeks every year to run the grand prix.

This would have put the BRDC in a worse financial situation than it is already because it would earn no revenue from the grand prix but still carry all costs of maintaining the circuit.

The BRDC rejected the chance to extend the deadline because it did not want to add to the uncertainty surrounding the situation given that it is widely known a decision had to be made before this year’s British Grand Prix.

Hamilton has won all four of his British Grands Prix at Silverstone

F1 chairman Chase Carey told BBC Sport that he regarded a British Grand Prix as “critically important” to F1.

“We are very much determined to have a race in the UK and our priority would be to try to find a solution with Silverstone but we are not there today,” he said.

“We have a race in place through 2019, so you are talking three years. So there has to be a little bit of a reality check of the timeframe we are dealing with.”

Carey said there was “interest from other places that would have appeal” in the UK in holding a race.

One of these is believed to be a bid to run the race on a street circuit in the Docklands area of east London.

Carey said: “I don’t want to get too far into it. This sport in the past has been a sport that likes to talk first and act second and I am not sure that is always healthy in trying to move forwards. In business life I have usually tried to get things done and then talk publicly about why we did what we did. Negotiating and posturing in public is not a practice I am a great fan of. the conversations are better had privately.

“We want these to be partnerships, long-term partnerships and the best way to get there is to develop a level of trust and understanding and engagement with each other.”

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