The Future of Silverstone

June 18, 2009

The prof checking out the track at Silverstone, F1 testing 2008.

The Prof checking out Silverstone Circuit, F1 testing 2008.

This weekend represents possibly the last time that Silverstone will host an F1 Grand Prix, well at least for the next seventeen years according to Donington Park boss Simon Gillett. There can be little hope that Silverstone would get the opportunity to run the Grand Prix in 2010 should the Donington circuit upgrading fall behind schedule, in similar situations in the past F1’s promoter – Formula One Management has simply taken the Grand Prix off the calendar for a year until the track is ready. This keeps all the circuits on their toes and helps to meet deadlines.

However it may not be all bad news for Silverstone. The lack of a grand prix will mean less of a spike in their finances and it also creates new opportunities for the circuit. It is more than twenty years since the British Grand Prix was shared between Silverstone and Brands Hatch in Kent. Brands has been taken over by Jonathan Palmer’s Motorsport Vision group and seems to have made itself a highly viable venue focusing more on corporate activities and bike racing.

So it will be goodbye to Copse Corner, Hanger Straight and Abbey Curve for at least the next seventeen years, unless of course tomorrow, when the FIA publish their final entry list, we see the FIA/FOTA schism that some are now openly predicting. If this does happen it could be that Silverstone is one of the first circuits signed up for the FOTA (or whatever they decide to call themselves) 2010 championship. Once again let’s see what happens on Friday!

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