Cape Town - Formula 1 could still have a British Grand Prix without
Silverstone being involved; that's a warning to the circuit from F1's
commercial boss Sean Bratches.
Silverstone, which is owned by the British Racing Drivers’
Club, is out of contract after next year's grand prix having exercised a break
clause for financial reasons.
The BRDC have not giving up on Silverstone hosting the race
down the line, they only want to negotiate a better deal.
But while Liberty Media are keen to preserve the sport's
historic races, Bratches has warned that the British Grand Prix could move to a
new venue in order to keep it on the calendar.
"We're a 68-year-old entity and the nature of grand
prix racing is that it is dynamic," he said in a Formula One question and
"Silverstone was the first grand prix, but we haven't
raced at Silverstone all those 68 years.
"The race has been held at Brands Hatch and other
"Nothing is immutable in this sport in terms of where
"We do value certain races highly and we do what we can
to preserve racing there, but we are a business.
"We are a public company and we have a lot of
stakeholders and shareholders and we're trying to marry what's best for fans
with running a successful business."
While the British Grand Prix has been on the F1 calendar
since the very beginning in 1950, Silverstone used to share the race with Brands
Hatch before becoming the sole host in 1987.
Bratches reiterated earlier statements from Liberty Media
about wanting more street races which they feel allows them to bring F1 closer
to the people.
He added: "We look at it in three ways. Firstly, we want
to preserve the heritage races, they are very important to Formula 1 and they
are very important to fans.
"I'm talking about the Silverstones, the Spas, the
Monzas of this world.
"Then we have a set of street races and hybrid street
races, where we race in parks and on city streets, such as Melbourne, Montreal
and Mexico City.
"The third segment features purpose-built facilities
such as Shanghai, Austin, Texas and Bahrain.
"Beyond that we are looking to identify further street
races, so this race [Vietnam] is a further step in terms of our vision."
Earlier this week Liberty Media announced that Vietnam would
join the calendar in 2020 with a street race.