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Liberty 'trying' for Silverstone deal but have an eye on London's streets

Written by  Dec 04, 2018

While Formula 1 commercial chief Sean Bratches is "trying" to secure the future of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, he admits eyes are on a more ambitious project.

Next year sees the final race at the iconic Northamptonshire circuit under the current contract, this after the BRDC activated a release clause citing the rising costs in a deal that would have lasted until 2026.

Asked for an update on the status of negotiations, Bratches insists Liberty Media do want to reach an agreement but are struggling with compromises.

“We are very hopeful [of securing the future],” he told Sky Sports.

“There has not been a lot of change in terms of the last time we spoke. We are having discussions and conversations around the business terms and both genuinely trying to get a deal done.

“Silverstone, it speaks for itself," he added. "It’s an extraordinary brand. It’s the home of the first Grand Prix."

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The circuit's managing director Stuart Pringle did have a warning though for F1's owners, making these comments in front of CEO Chase Carey at the BRDC awards on Monday.

"We got ourselves into a pickle because we had a business that was solely financed by the Grand Prix," he said.

"So we had to diversify, and we’re doing that. We’re going to build a hotel, we’ve got Silverstone Experience opening and we have some additional short-stay luxury accommodation. Aston Martin are now tenants on-site.

"Things are very much heading in the right direction and it gives us the confidence to say Lord knows we want to keep the Grand Prix, but not at any price.

"We’re going to have a broader, more diverse business that can survive without it. But we’d much rather have one with it."

Image result for F1 London

Concluding his earlier comments to Sky, however, Bratches insists that history won't be enough by itself to keep the British race at Silverstone and that London is still a potential alternative.

“We are having conversations with the mayor’s office and conversations with cities around the world,” he said.

“Certainly if there was an opportunity in London for us to race in the great streets here this would be an ideal circumstance – both for London and for Formula 1 fans around the world.”

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