A dark cloud has moved above the future of the British grand prix.
A report in the Telegraph newspaper quotes Silverstone’s managing director Patrick Allen as saying funding has become a problem, raising the prospect the historic race will be scratched.
Writers Christian Sylt, Caroline Reid and Lucy Morson explained that with track bosses a year behind in the race fee to Bernie Ecclestone, a ‘letter of credit’ is now necessary to guarantee the 2016 race is not axed.
F1 CEO Ecclestone confirmed: “They (Silverstone) are paying next year for this year’s race because I have allowed them to do this otherwise they would have closed before.”
And Allen said: “Can I guarantee the future? No I can’t.
“Could I hand on heart say to Mr Ecclestone, ‘Don’t worry, your money is absolutely safe for the next 10 years’? No I couldn’t.
“To pull the contract would be a sad thing for Silverstone, it would be a sad thing for motor racing and it would be a very sad thing for Britain,” he added.
The solution, Allen suggested, is for Silverstone to find a buyer.
“You want somebody that has got lots of money, who loves motor racing, who really wants to run Silverstone profitably but has the capital to inject into the business so it fixes the balance sheet and takes the risk profile away,” he said.