Bernie to Silverstone: Stop complaining!

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone thinks Silverstone bosses should stop complaining about the cost of hosting the British Grand Prix.

In a letter that was leaked to the press, John Grant, the chairman of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, which owns and operates the motorsport landmark, wrote BRDC members that Silverstone is considering triggering a clause in its F1 contract to stop having the grand prix after 2019 due to its “potentially ruinous cost”.

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Despite sold-out crowds at Silverstone in the wake of Lewis Hamilton’s success, the BRDC has actually been keen to sell the Home of British motorsport because of mounting losses and a lack of capital reserves.

“I don’t see why they can’t make it work,” Ecclestone told Sportsmail. “They get bigger crowds than anywhere else in Europe, and nobody else is complaining.”

Under its current deal, which runs until 2026, Silverstone sees its F1 fee increase by annual increments of 5%, from £12m in 2010 to £26m by the end of the agreement.

Since Grant’s letter has been made public knowledge, 1996 F1 world champion and former BRDC president Damon Hill has moved to ask the British government to chip in and help Silverstone, which hosted the very first F1 race back in 1950 and has been a permanent fixture on the calendar since 1987.

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