F1: will the British Grand Prix leave Silverstone?

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The Week

Formula 1 chief Chase Carey insists there’s ‘always other options’

The future of Silverstone as the host circuit of the Formula 1 British Grand Prix is once again a major topic of conversation for race fans in the UK.

According to a report by Autosport, it’s been hinted that the British GP could move away from the Northamptonshire track to “preserve the future of the race”.

Silverstone has hosted the race since 1987 but next year’s event is the last one under its current deal.

F1’s commercial managing director Sean Bratches said: “We’re a 68-year-old entity and the nature of grand prix racing is that it is dynamic. Silverstone was the first grand prix, but we haven’t raced at Silverstone all those 68 years. The race has been held at Brands Hatch and other venues.

“Nothing is immutable in this sport in terms of where we race. We do value certain races highly and we do what we can to preserve racing there, but we are a business. We are a public company and we have a lot of stakeholders and shareholders and we’re trying to marry what’s best for fans with running a successful business.”

Meanwhile F1 chief executive Chase Carey says that the sport has an “array of options” should Silverstone be replaced as the host circuit of the British GP.

“We value the Silverstone race, but we’ve got to get to a place that works for us. And those discussions are ongoing,” Carey told Motorsport. “There are always other options. One of the things we make sure is that we are continuing to develop an array of options.

“We’re in a fortunate place right now that we have more places that want to have races than we can race. And that’s a good place to be.

“We’ll continue to develop those options, and make sure we are able to make the best decisions for fans and for racing and for us as a business. All those things matter, and we’re actively engaged.”

Pressure still on Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton may have wrapped up the F1 drivers’ title two weeks ago in Mexico but the Mercedes ace says the pressure will still be on in the final two races of the season.

With only the Brazilian and Abu Dhabi GPs left on the 2018 schedule Hamilton and Mercedes hope to complete a title double by also winning the constructors’ championship. Mercedes are 55 points ahead of Ferrari in the standings.

Speaking to Sky Sports in Brazil, Hamilton said: “The pressure is still the same and I don’t feel any different. I want to win. We still have a job to do. This [the constructors’ championship] is the most important thing.

“When we speak to the team at the start of the year, this is the number one priority. There are over a thousand people who work at the Mercedes factory and this is the title which means the most to them.”

Ferrari will fight on

Despite the 55-point deficit to Mercedes, Sebastian Vettel insists that Ferrari can still win the constructors’ championship.

The German, who missed out to Hamilton in the drivers’ championship, said: “We have two more races to go and I am looking forward to racing. I think this is not the right time to draw conclusions as the championship is not completely over yet.

“I would like to win these last two races. The last two grands prix were better for us in terms of pace, so hopefully we can continue like that and we be able to win.

“For sure, we’ll try to do the best that we can. We want to focus on winning the constructors’ championship.”

 

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