In 1950 the inaugural year of Formula one took in many places around the world in an organised series of global races. One of those was the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, an ex World War two airfield with a piggery in the middle ( which remained open during the very first race). Although the British Grand Prix would move to other locations over the years such as Brands Hatch and Donnington Park, it’s spiritual home was always at this fast track that rewards aggressive and brave driving. However, the future of a British Grand Prix recently seemed in doubt when Silverstone asked for a pause in it’s contract as staging the event was becoming far too expensive. What was going to happen?
The idea of no British Grand Prix was unthinkable for the fans at home and abroad, unpopular with the teams (especially the Drivers) and also a worry for the new owners Liberty Media mainly because of all of those reasons mentioned. The only person who probably wasn’t that bothered was Bernie Ecclestone who’d been criticising Silverstone (quite rightly in some cases certainly when it came to the infrastructure around the site) for many years. Liberty Media also had some views about the races on the calendar. None were seen as safe plus they wanted to try and expand the Asian market by having more races there. In addition, Liberty Media were under pressure to decrease costs and spread the winnings more equally between teams. They were also mooting more City races even though these were considered to be little more than processions. One was London and the owners of Silverstone were very concerned that this would detract from the British Grand Prix.
Despite it being one of the most widely attended tracks, over 140,000 year on year the owners have struggled to break even due to the hosting fee. However they and Liberty Media showed great determination and after a serious round of negotiation they have managed to secure the event at Silverstone for 5 years, although it seems that the German and Spanish ones will be sacrificed even with successful drivers like Sebastian Vettel and Carlos Sainz in the drivers line up.
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