No certainty on British GP future, says Brawn
Formula 1 boss Ross Brawn admits that there is "no certainty" on the future of the British Grand Prix – and suggested that the race is not necessarily tied to Silverstone.
The event is one of five, along with Spain, Germany, Italy and Mexico, whose contracts are up for renewal for 2020 and beyond.
The two parties have reached an impasse in negotiations over the hosting fee, with F1 seemingly unwilling to back down and reduce its price.
Although there is no firm deadline for a contract to be signed, traditionally Silverstone uses the British GP race weekend to launch a marketing campaign for the following year, giving it 12 months to sell tickets.
“I don’t think it will be the final British Grand Prix,” said Brawn when asked about this year’s event. “Whether it’s at Silverstone or not is another matter. We want a British Grand Prix and we want to find a solution with Silverstone.
"But we're differing in our views of what’s reasonable and what’s not. We're not a massive amount apart, but it's frustrating that we can't find a solution.
“But racing in the UK is important to us and obviously Silverstone has been the home of the grand prix for the last few years.
"But most of us can remember it being held at Brands Hatch and it didn’t seem that strange that we had a race at Brands Hatch one year and Silverstone the next.
"We’re determined to make sure that we keep a British Grand Prix, and hopefully at Silverstone, but there’s no certainty.”
Asked by Motorsport.com if F1 still had ambitions in London in the light of the announcement of the Docklands Formula E race, Brawn admitted that it was still on the agenda. However he suggested that such a race would be an addition to the calendar.
“I think London would be a different race than the British Grand Prix, it’s a city race," he said. "There are several tracks in the UK as you know. I think there’s a place for both.
"I don’t think it’s feasible to have a London race in the middle of London, unfortunately, just the chaos and impact it would have would be too severe.
“But on the peripheries of London there are a number of areas which could work. So I think the question is open. I don’t think necessarily that London would replace the British Grand Prix, but would be a London Grand Prix.”
Brawn insisted that he is not worried about the “perfect storm” of five classic races coming up for renewal at the same time, with some of them potentially at risk.
“We have to give it perspective," he said. "If you think of the ones with renewed in the past year or 18 months, and obviously we've done Vietnam which is a completely new one. A lot of races have renewed and there is a constant churn going on, they're not all aligned.
“But it’s true we've got a group of races, which are important to Formula 1, they are historical races, they are part of the history of Formula 1, so we wouldn't want to lose them without a fight.
"And we will try and find solutions. But you know, promoters’ circumstances changed, and you can't always accommodate those changes.
“You know the situation in Barcelona [where local government funding has been withdrawn], it is a difficult situation there.
"That’s something which we didn't create, and we're trying to accommodate, but also we have to be fair to the other promoters and the other circuits about the amount that it costs to hold a Formula 1 race.
"So I think there'll be solutions, but we’ll all have to work hard to find them. But they are important races, and they are historic core of Formula 1, so we'll be trying very hard to find a solution.”
Dirty air impact reduced by five times in F1 2021 concept
Is Ricciardo's Renault gamble a career breaker?