British Racing Drivers' Club chairman and former F1 driver Derek Warwick says he's optimistic the British Grand Prix will remain at Silverstone beyond 2019 but has enquired about potential government help.
The future of the British GP was thrown into doubt when a letter circulated to BRDC members speculated whether hosting the F1 race at Silverstone beyond 2019 would be financial viable and dropping the race should be considered.
It is believed Silverstone has a break-out clause in its F1 contract after 2019, instead of seeing out the full contract until 2026, which raised question marks on the future of the race with no obvious replacement candidate with Donington Park confirming it would not take on the role.
Speaking at the Autosport International show, Warwick has moved to calm fears F1 will definitely stay at Silverstone at least until 2019 and is confident of finding a solution beyond that timeframe.
“We made a Christmas note to our members giving them an update on Silverstone and a lot of that then came out as the possibility of causing the break clause before the grand prix this year,” Warwick said. “Don't worry, we 100% have a Grand Prix for the next three years, up until 2019.
“We can't do without the British GP, we can't do without Silverstone, some compromise will be made, either with Bernie [Ecclestone] or the new people who are taking over F1, which is Liberty.
“We've had meetings with Liberty and [F1 chairman] Chase Carey. He understands our dilemma and we understand he has to make money because that's what these guys are doing, but I just feel there is light at the end of the tunnel. I think we will have a grand prix past 2019.”
Warwick also confirmed the BRDC, which holds the lease and running duties of Silverstone, is in talks with the government to potentially secure financial aid in order to maintain the circuit and an F1 race in Great Britain.
However, the ex-F1 driver has reiterated talks will be held with new F1 owners Liberty Media and Ecclestone to try to broker a better deal for Silverstone with or without state help.
“It's not widely known, but we are talking to Government to see if there is any help there,” he said. “We're talking to Liberty and even Bernie now is calling us and saying 'let's set up a meeting and talk about it'. We're feeling very positive at the minute and there's a lot of good things happening at Silverstone.”
Silverstone, the third-longest serving circuit on the F1 calendar, is one of few tracks to receive no government backing.
Last November a potential buyout of the Northamptonshire circuit by Jaguar Land Rover fell through, while Jonathan Palmer's MSV has shown an interest and has also recently acquired Donington Park to its portfolio.
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