With complications arising within the Silverstone Circuit, F1 owners Liberty Media could be on the hunt for a new venue. Is London on the cards?
The Formula One British Grand Prix is in a strange place. Undoubtedly one of the most iconic venues for the sport, its position has become suspect. Recently, a shocking development from the circuit showed that the track triggered the break clause in its contract with F1. Having signified its desire to split ties with the sport earlier than agreed upon, many unknowns now float about, casting a pall of doubt on how long the sport will continue to have a British Grand Prix on its calendar.
— F1 Live (@F1LiveLondon) July 12, 2017
The move has drawn sharp responses from many head-honchos within the sport – particularly Red Bull’s Christian Horner. Horner commented on the nature of Silverstone’s actions, claiming that they would be wise to navigate these uncertain waters carefully, Horner has floated the idea of Liberty Media opting to head down a different path: that of a London Street Grand Prix:
“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.
Silverstone is a wonderful track. 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.” – Christian Horner
It’s a peculiar situation. On one hand, Silverstone may force the hand of Liberty Media to form a new track for the future – yet it could prove to be one of the best business opportunities to come their way. Yes, Silverstone is an incredible track with a storied history in the sport, but a London street circuit would give Liberty Media an even larger opportunity to capitalise on new viewers. While already incredibly popular, hosting a Grand Prix on the city streets of one of the largest most multi-cultural cities in the world would undoubtedly cause a massive stir for the sport. And this could be where Liberty Media must take the sport.
Street circuits in Formula One have always held a special allure that the sprawling complexes of purpose-built tracks simply don’t have. Hearing the engines echoing across the stone walls of centuries old buildings could paint a backdrop for Formula One unlike any other.
— Valtteri Bottas (@ValtteriBottas) July 12, 2017
Truthfully, the entire situation seems to hold Silverstone management as the ones losing out on the deal. While the most the track has offered in ways of explanation has been an issue of funds, one can’t help but think that they may be due to mismanagement on their part.