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Exclusive: Silverstone set deadline for British GP decision

Exclusive: Silverstone set deadline for British GP decision

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Exclusive: Silverstone set deadline for British GP decision

Exclusive: Silverstone set deadline for British GP decision

Silverstone is to make a call on whether it will be able to host this year's British Grand Prix just after Easter.

For the Northamptonshire track to commence operations for it to be ready to host the July 17-19 event, managing director Stuart Pringle has confirmed to GPFans he and his team would "need 12 weeks' notice".

That would mean a start date to launch preparations of around the week beginning April 20.

"The thing is about this event is that it's not our decision alone," Pringle told GPFans. "We wouldn't do anything without agreement with Formula One, and jiggling an international calendar, and the challenges with that.

"We're in very close communication, we're looking at it, we're trying to find the right answer. The easy thing is to say, 'Well, it's not possible is it?'

"Actually, very extreme action is being taken at the moment, and we might yet get on top of things rather quicker than they have previously indicated.

"We'll see, but sooner rather than later we're going to have to make a decision, that's for sure, but 12 weeks is the drop-dead date to get things prepared."

Earlier this week, the British government imposed a three-week lock-down period, advising that only the most essential travel and work be undertaken.

That is due to end on Easter Monday, April 13. Should a further lockdown be imposed, that would force Silverstone's hand.

"We would begin preparations with site infrastructure stuff, the marquees and things like that," added Pringle.

"But if we're locked down and people can't travel in, then that's going to make the decision for us."

Like any British business, Silverstone has adopted the government's furlough plan, with the majority of its staff unable to work due to the coronavirus forcing the circuit's closure.

"We've taken advantage of the scheme, which is very helpful, so 70% of our team are currently furloughed," said Pringle.

"We've got enough people to keep things progressing and planning, and we can bring people back very quickly.

"It's a fantastically flexible scheme, and we've received incredible support from our team about it, and we've just got to see how this evolves."

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