Silverstone boss fires shot at Bernie Ecclestone

The British Grand Prix was close to losing its spot on the Formula 1 calendar whilst Bernie Ecclestone was CEO of the sport.

Silverstone’s managing director Stuart Pringle has sung the praises of Formula 1 owners Liberty Media, whilst having little to say about former CEO of the sport Bernie Ecclestone.

Formula 1 has seen a boom like never before since Liberty gained ownership of the sport, with the championship growing in popularity across the globe.

Whilst the pinnacle of motorsport has seen substantial growth, particularly in America and in the Middle East, the British Grand Prix has also been setting its own attendance records, despite being one of the oldest races on the calendar.

The 2022 British GP saw an astonishing attendance of 401,000, making it the third-highest attended race last season, behind the United States Grand Prix and the Australian Grand Prix.

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Things are certainly looking great for the classic race, with its future having been uncertain in the latter years of Ecclestone’s leadership.

The British GP’s contract is set to end in 2024; however, Pringle has praised Liberty for working well with the event’s organisers to come to a solution for a new deal, given the “eyewatering” cost of hosting a race nowadays.

“It’s such a commitment, the British Grand Prix,” Pringle said at Autosport International, as quoted by GPFans.

“The fee is eyewatering, the cost of delivery keeps you awake at night and the fixed cost base is extraordinarily high as a result.

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“It’s a given you’re going to sell out Sunday. We got to selling out Saturday a few years ago and now Friday is all but gone as well and that’s where your profit is.

“And if you don’t make a profit – Mr Ecclestone – you cannot reinvest in infrastructure.

“It was creaking and groaning, Silverstone, because the BRDC was unable to make a profit for 40 years.

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

Whilst it remains a historic race, the Silverstone International Circuit has enjoyed a whole-heap of improvements over the last decade or so, including, the Silverstone Wing pit-and-paddock building, and a new trackside hotel which was only opened last year.

Pringle is very optimistic about the future of the race and is certain that the continual upgrades to the circuit will create a “better experience for the fans”, especially with Liberty continuing to do “amazing things”.

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“If we put in better facilities, we get a better experience for the fans,” he added.

“If we get a better experience for the fans, it’s better for the Championship all round and everyone’s a winner.

“I’m really enjoying working with F1 at the moment. They’re enlightened, they’re challenging us, they’re doing amazing things.

“We all look to America about how to make the sport more entertaining and how to fill the margins of the day and the week. There’s a lot to learn from what they do over there and it’s working, because people are coming and enjoying themselves.”