While F1 bosses Chase Carey and Sean Bratches appear to make contradictory comments about the future of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, one minute insisting that the iconic circuit must be retained on the F1 calendar only to subsequently warn that they are unwilling to renegotiate hosting fee terms – while all the while making overtures in terms of a race on the streets of London – the fact is that as it stands there is but one more event at Silverstone before its contract comes to an end.
David Richards, who unlike Carey and Bratches, has motorsport in his DNA, insists that the Northamptonshire circuit is the only logical location for the event.
Richards, a former chairman at Aston Martin, team boss at the BAR and Benetton F1 teams and founder of Prodrive, the engineering group that enjoyed success in various disciplines, not least the WRC with Subaru, is also chairman of Motorsport UK, what was previously known as Motor Sports Association (MSA), which provides the infrastructure for the British Grand Prix.
“Silverstone is the only place in my view that can host the race,” he told Motorsport.com. “Putting anything on in a different place like a street circuit is inappropriate, because it doesn’t leave a legacy and use the infrastructure we have built over the years.
“It’s critical to in my view to this country, to motorsport’s good health in this country, that we have a Formula 1 race,” he added.
“Obviously we are a little bit on the sidelines because the commercial relationship is between the F1 and the BRDC,” he admitted in reference to Motorsport UK’s role in possible negotiations. “We can help enable that as best as we can. I attend a number of meetings with politicians at the moment and it’s ongoing.
“We are hopeful and feel positively that it will come to a strong conclusion,” he said. “We certainly don’t take it for granted and we have to play our part. We have to provide the infrastructure for the race, we provide the officials, the marshals.”