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London GP could spell the end for Silverstone

London GP could spell the end for Silverstone

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London GP could spell the end for Silverstone

London GP could spell the end for Silverstone

Formula 1’s desire to create a new race in London could severely damage Silverstone’s hopes of extending their deal to host the British Grand Prix, according to track managing director Stuart Pringle.

Silverstone’s current contract for the British GP ends after the next edition of the race in just over a month, and talks for a new deal were previously thought to be positive, until F1 informed race organisers of their desire to bring the sport to London.

"F1 have admitted to us for the first time that they want to have a race in London,” Pringle told BBC Sport.

“That's a material change because it's different to previous arrangements and Britain is not a very big island and it's a commercial concern.

"Throughout this process we have sought to manage the significant risk that comes with promoting an F1 race and this does nothing to reduce it.

"In fact, it significantly increases the risk to Silverstone that only a few short years ago was nearly obliterated by its commitment to F1 and trying to maintain a British Grand Prix. We metaphorically and literally cannot afford to go back to that position.

"But we are still very much talking. They've always said they want a British Grand Prix at Silverstone and we've always said we want to host one."

Silverstone believe that the creation of a London GP would ultimately water down the importance of the British GP, and that they would subsequently lose a number of spectators to the new race, whether it be a city race or on a proper track.

F1 chief Ross Brawn has reassured Silverstone that a race in London would be completely different to the British GP, but has played down the idea of it being in the centre of the capital.

"London would be a different race than the British GP. It is a city race. There is a place for both,” he said at a press conference two months ago.

"But I don't think it's feasible to have a London race in the middle of London, unfortunately - the chaos and impact it would have would be too severe - but on the periphery of London there are a number of areas that could work.

“I don't see it as it would necessarily replace the British GP; it would be the London GP."

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