JANUARY 11, 1999
Bernie and Brands management
THE SUNDAY TIMES in London reported yesterday that Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone is supporting Brands Hatch in its bid to buy Silverstone. It is unclear what form this support will take. Silverstone - the home of the British Grand Prix - is owned by the membership of the British Racing Drivers' Club. The BRDC members stand to make large amounts of money if the circuit is sold.
Brands Hatch - which used to alternate the Grand Prix with Silverstone - has not held the race for nearly 15 years although major rebuilding work is currently going on to bring the Kentish circuit up to F1 standard once again. Brands Hatch has many advantages over Silverstone. It has much easier access, has more accommodation and is closer to London. It is also a more interesting racing circuit. On the other hand Silverstone has a F1 contract for the race until the year 2001 and in April last year it was rumored that this deal had been extended until 2006.
If Silverstone is bought the deal would probably have to be renegotiated and if Brands Hatch is willing to meet Ecclestone's asking price for Formula 1 then it is probably a better option for the F1 boss as it would rid F1 of one of its most difficult weekends of the year.
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