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  Friday, 17 May, 2002, 07:56 GMT 08:56 UK
Silverstone awaits Ferrari decision
Silverstone, venue for the British Grand Prix
Silverstone has worked hard on its traffic problems
British Grand Prix organisers are hoping that Ferrari will escape censure for their antics at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Rubens Barrichello was ordered to slow just before the chequered flag in Zeltweg to allow team-mate Michael Schumacher an unearned victory.

Schumacher then contravened FIA rules during the podium ceremony by handing Barrichello the trophy.

Both drivers and their Ferrari chiefs face an FIA hearing on 26 June over the incident and they could be punished with a race ban.

That would almost certainly come into force at the following grand prix, which is at Silverstone.

Whether it's the best ever British GP for racing, you'll have to ask Ferrari and Mr Schumacher
Rob Bain, Octagon Motorsports

But Rob Bain, chief executive of Octagon Motorsports which has the rights to the British Grand Prix, is hopeful the four-time champion will be at Silverstone.

"It's a worry," said Bain. "Schumacher is a leading driver and Ferrari are a leading team.

"If they were not here it would be a problem for us, but I would be surprised if that was the case."

Bain insisted that Ferrari's staged finish at the A-1 Ring had not deterred fans' interest in this year's Silverstone race.

"There have been very few people asking for their money back," said Bain.

"In fact, we are still getting over 200 calls a day from people wanting tickets. The hotline is still hot."


The organisers are set to decide on whether to release an extra 5,000 tickets to take the capacity up to 65,000.

That comes on the back of the new infrastructure around the Northamptonshire circuit which is hoped will alleviate the traffic chaos of recent years.

"We're confident that the investment in the roads, car parks, signage and the traffic management plan will make this the best ever grand prix for traffic," said Bain.

"Whether it's the best ever for racing, you'll have to ask Ferrari and Mr Schumacher.

"I'm confident that come 8 July people will be talking about the race and not about the traffic and the future of the race.

"People used to talk about a race in Moscow, Bahrain and China and which one would go to make way for them.

"They no longer mention the British Grand Prix in that way - we've moved out of the spotlight."

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