New British GP contract ‘just a matter of time’, says Motorsport UK chairman

Silverstone's five-year, UK£100m contract is up for renewal next season.

The British Grand Prix is closing in on a deal to secure its long-term future, with the chairman of Motorsport UK David Richards insisting it is “just a matter of time” before a new contract is announced.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen extended his winning streak, with Lando Norris holding off Lewis Hamilton in a thrilling battle between the two British drivers, at Silverstone on Sunday.

However, a five-year, UK£100 million (US$128 million) contract signed off by Formula One’s American owners Liberty Media, Silverstone and the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC), which owns the Northamptonshire venue, in 2019 is up for renewal next season.

The British Grand Prix has been an ever present on the Formula One calendar, dating back more than 70 years, with Silverstone staging the sport’s first world championship race.

But Motorsport UK chairman Richards said: “I don’t think there is any question that the deal will get done. Both the BRDC and Liberty are keen to see that resolved and it is just a matter of time.

“We were hoping it would be announced this weekend – that wasn’t the case – but that is not because there is no willingness to get it done.”

A record crowd in excess of 150,000 people watched Verstappen’s sixth consecutive win on Sunday, with nearly half-a-million fans in attendance at Silverstone over the course of the weekend.

Liberty has flirted with the idea of staging a street race in London, but a number of roadblocks have thwarted any serious progress.

Speaking to the PA news agency, Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle said: “We don’t have a new contract yet.

“But we are the most sustainable race in the championship – by virtue of having seven out of 10 teams located nearby, so there is no long-haul aviation.

“We have got 2,700 solar panels powering the Paddock Club. We have a huge recycling operation here and that is very important to F1 in helping them achieve their net zero carbon 2030 target.

“We have radically improved our entertainment programme. The races are thrilling and they get excellent television audiences. It is very popular with sponsors and VIPs. The Paddock Club is in the top two or three of all the races that Formula One sell every year.

“And for the last four years that F1 has surveyed its fans after every race, Silverstone have won those customer surveys, and by some margin too.

“So I struggle to know what more we can do if that is not enough. We are really enjoying working with F1 at the moment. The product is fantastic. Privately F1 are recognising our efforts and I hope publicly they are too.”


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