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British Grand Prix still under threat
April 22, 2004 20:03 IST
Silverstone's future remained under threat on Thursday after Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone said the British Grand Prix would need to undergo a radical revamp to avoid being axed.
Ecclestone, who will take over as promoter of the race from 2005, feels improvements have to be made on the circuit if the event is to continue.
"I would welcome a new promoter coming forward and I would be delighted if the British GP were to go ahead at Silverstone," Ecclestone was quoted as saying in The Daily Telegraph.
"It's the only feasible circuit in the country which can host the race but it has to come up to scratch."
Ecclestone acquired the rights to the event from U.S. advertising giant Interpublic in a multi-million dollar deal earlier this week.
He has been a regular critic of the track in the past, saying it does not come up to the standards of other Formula One circuits.
If the race was dropped from the F1 calendar, it would allow a new country to step in to host a Grand Prix.
The Silverstone circuit is owned by the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) and Ecclestone believes it is their responsibility to revamp the circuit.
"We saw at the last race in Bahrain what facilities should be like. The standard has been raised by the new venues and Silverstone has to fall into line," he said.
"The BRDC has got a lot of land there and it's still receiving rent from Interpublic. On the back of that, they can raise the necessary cash and invest in the circuit.
"I have put a chunk of my own money in and all I have seen for it are new car parks. They are very nice but we need a new pit and paddock complex too.
"Unless the BRDC does this, there will not be another Grand Prix in the UK in 2005."