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Liberty want to 'preserve' classic F1 races but warn they're not 'immutable'

Written by  Nov 07, 2018

Liberty Media commercial boss Sean Bratches has warned Formula 1's historical races that while they are important, their futures on the calendar are not guaranteed.

On Wednesday, the sport's American owners announced the first Grand Prix to be added to the schedule under their leadership with a street race in Vietnam's capital of Hanoi set to take place in 2020.

With races in Miami and Holland also touted that year, many are asking questions as to what that means for the likes of the British and Italian races both of whom are out of contract after next season.

“We want to preserve the heritage races, they are very important to F1 and they are very important to fans,” said Bratches. “I’m talking about the Silverstone's, the Spa's, the Monza's of this world."

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Given the British interest in F1, unsurprisingly more attention was put on the future of that race in particular and whether it could move from the birthplace of F1 after next year.

“Silverstone was the first Grand Prix, but we haven’t raced at Silverstone all those 68 years," Bratches pointed out. "The race has been held at Brands Hatch and other venues.

“Nothing is immutable in this sport in terms of where we race. We do value certain races highly and we do what we can to preserve racing there, but we are a business.

“We are a public company and we have a lot of stakeholders and shareholders and we’re trying to marry what’s best for fans with running a successful business.”

With classic venues like Monza, Silverstone and Hockenheim all scrambling financially to remain in F1, this warning from Liberty will no doubt worry those who fear money will be the ultimate motivator.

Ultimately, it will be upto the veterans like Ross Brawn to have a word in Liberty's ear, but a broadening of the sport's appeal through events like Vietnam and Miami is still no bad thing going forward.

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