Silverstone boss slates Ecclestone’s F1 regime amid push for four-day British GP

Silverstone’s managing director Stuart Pringle has taken a shot at Bernie Ecclestone for the way he used to run F1. 
Bernie Ecclestone (GBR). Formula 1
Bernie Ecclestone (GBR). Formula 1

The future of the British Grand Prix faced major uncertainty towards the end of Ecclestone’s tenure as F1 boss but a breakthrough deal was struck with new owners Liberty Media to secure the race until 2024. 

The 2019 British Grand Prix was due to the last after Silverstone ended its contract due to rising costs, but following two years of negotiations, the circuit and F1 bosses thrashed out terms for a renewed deal. 

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Silverstone has undergone major renovations in recent years  to improve its facilities and is now flourishing thanks to F1’s new owners, according to Pringle, who couldn’t resist aiming a dig at Ecclestone. 

“It’s a given you’re going to sell out Sunday,” Pringle said. “We got to selling out Saturday a few years ago, and now Friday is all but gone as well.

“That’s where your profit is. And if you don’t make profit – Mr. Ecclestone – you cannot reinvest in the infrastructure.

“It is creaking and groaning, Silverstone, because the BRDC [British Racing Drivers’ Club] was unable to make a profit out of the Grand Prix for 40 years.

“Now, I’m pleased to say the owners of F1 take a sensible view that it is not in their interest to crush the promoter, and they recognise the BRDC invests all of its money back into the facilities.

“If we put in better facilities we get a better experience of the fans, and if it’s better for the fans, it’s better for the championship all round, and everyone’s a winner.”

The start of the race. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10, British Grand Prix, Silverstone, England, Race Day.-
The start of the race. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10, British Grand…

Push for British GP weekend to be extended 

Amid the British Grand Prix’s increasing popularity, Pringle confirmed Silverstone wants to extend the weekend into a four-day event to give fans more on-track action. 

Although the proposal would not affect the Friday-Saturday-Sunday F1 format, some support series could be moved to Thursday to create a “festival” atmosphere. 

“We’re looking to extend the weekend,” Pringle said. 

“I’m working hard on Formula 1. I believe they need to change the format of the weekend. They say: ‘Oh well it’s the FIA [governing body], they’ve got to do the systems test and stuff’ – well, do them a day earlier.

“Let’s do some stuff on Thursday. There are a lot of people who want to come and see things, and three days isn’t really enough.

“Let’s make it that big, best part of a week’s festival. People do turn up at Silverstone on a Tuesday and put the tent up, and that’s it, they’re in.”

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