Friday, 19 July, 2019

F1 still looking to add London race alongside Silverstone

Silverstone will host the British GP until at least 2024 Lewis Hamilton slams F1 clashing with Cricket World Cup Final and Wimbledon
Sidney Guerrero | 13 July, 2019, 12:22

Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton set the pace in practice for the British Grand Prix as Mercedes showed they could take some stopping this weekend.

And taking place at the same time near the British capital will be the men's final at Wimbledon. "A lot of people will be switching between channels on Sunday".

The British Grand Prix should ensure it does not clash with other major sporting events, Lewis Hamilton has said before this weekend's meeting.

That was despite several excursions off-track, with drivers up and down the paddock struggling to keep cars on the black stuff due to relaid asphalt and windy conditions at Silverstone. During Hamilton's bid for a record sixth home race win, cricket coverage will switch to a secondary channel. "It's such a privilege to be here". Just one month ago, Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle raised concerns about the threat a London Grand Prix might have on ticket sales for the British Grand Prix, but as part of the new agreement F1 is free to continue negotiations with London.

"I've been really privileged to come here and have some spectacular races", he added. There is excitement and adrenaline going and there are pressures.

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"I still think it's going to be close again tomorrow and it will be all about who finds the most performance tonight and tomorrow before qualifying, but it's nice to start the weekend on a positive note".

Speaking in more detail about the contract, Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle said the circuit had been given the appropriate assurances that, if a second race in the United Kingdom is added to the F1 calendar, it won't have a negative impact on the existing one.

After two years of intense negotiation, Silverstone signed a new deal with Formula One on Tuesday that will see it stay on the calendar until 2024. "It's promising that we are still quite close to Mercedes and Ferrari so there is still a lot of potential for the weekend".

But the BRDC chairman called on the Government to invest more in Silverstone to reflect its local and national economic importance - adding the lack of funds has been a source of tension. Who knows whether I'll still be here by then.

"We're a little unusual in that we don't think it's right for the British Government to use taxpayer's money to directly subsidise Formula One", he said.

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