BBC Home
Explore the BBC
watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
Low graphics|Help
Last Updated: Friday, 10 November 2006, 10:19 GMT
New threat to British Grand Prix
Bernie Ecclestone
Ecclestone is keen for India to be part of the F1 crowd
Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone may reduce the staging of the British Grand Prix to every other year.

Ecclestone hinted the 56-year-old race at Silverstone, the oldest in F1, could alternate with the French Grand Prix.

"The French are happy to do that. As for the British race, I don't know what they want," he told Bloomberg.

But Stuart Rolt, chairman of the British Racing Drivers' Club who own the venue, told BBC Sport: "The idea was proposed and we said 'no thanks'."

Rolt said that holding a race only once every two years would not make business sense.

"We said it doesn't work for us," Rolt told the Times on Friday. "We were unable to see how a Grand Prix every second year works financially - we have to keep the place in a suitable condition for a Grand Prix - and in terms of staffing.

"You may be able to let some staff go temporarily and hire them back, but that's a difficult way to run a business."

The current contract to hold the British Grand Prix expires in 2009.

Negotiations to extend that term have been ongoing between the BRDC and Ecclestone, but Rolt says the two parties are some way off from settling on an outcome.

"I'm not confident a new deal will be struck, but hopeful," he told BBC Sport.


"Mr Ecclestone does want a British Grand Prix but at the end of the day Formula One is a business for him."

The sticking point centres around Ecclestone's request to the BRDC that they need to modernise Silverstone, that includes improving paddock facilities, as well as overhaul the spectator areas if a new deal is to be signed for 2010 onwards.

McLaren boss Ron Dennis, who is a member of the BRDC, believes it will require "hundreds of millions of pounds" to improve the Northamptonshire circuit.

Rolt said: "It will be very hard to find the sort of money we need to meet what is being asked of us."

Further pressure was heaped on the British Grand Prix when Ecclestone said that he was keen to add India to the list of hosts by 2010.

The sport's supremo said a venue had been found to stage the event, but did not reveal as to where it was.

"India is a country that is probably going to grow quicker than China," he added.

"We had to make sure we found the right place in India and we have."

Talks begin on British GP future
12 Jun 06 |  Formula One
F1 boss cagey on British GP plan
21 Apr 06 |  Formula One
BRDC abandons Silverstone scheme
30 Mar 06 |  Formula One
Delay for Silverstone renovation
22 Feb 06 |  Formula One
New lease of life for Silverstone
06 Feb 06 |  Formula One
Silverstone seals British GP deal
09 Dec 04 |  Formula One


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Daily and weekly e-mails | Mobiles | Desktop Tools | News Feeds | Interactive Television | Downloads
Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

Help | Privacy & Cookies Policy | News sources | About the BBC | Contact us