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JUNE 29, 2000

Team boss concerned over Brands Hatch and Formula One future

BMW-WILLIAMS' team boss Frank Williams says he is concerned over the future of the British Grand Prix with Brands Hatch as its host, and the sport in general.

His fears have arisen after Kent-based Brands Hatch, who bought the rights to the British Grand Prix last year, were granted planning permission by Sevenoaks District Council to make the necessary £30 million (pounds) redevelopments to bring the circuit up to FIA grand prix standards.

This means that Brands Hatch now plan to host the event in 2002 rather than loaning it out to another venue such as Silverstone or Donington as first thought.

But Williams believes that Silverstone, who have played host to the British Grand Prix for the last 14 years, is the heartbeat of the British-based teams.

Williams told a news conference ahead of the French Grand Prix in Magny-Cours that Silverstone was at the "heart of a cluster of seven British Grand Prix teams and at the core of British motor racing".

He then went on to say that the Northamptonshire-circuit is vital to the future of British motor racing, as well as the future of the British teams.

He is also concerned over proposals which are in place for Bernie Ecclestone's Formula One Administration company (FOA) to extend their television rights to beyond 2010, as well as takeover the technical administration of the sport.

Williams added: "I am aware of some proposals. But I don't expect to be offered any details, until a deal is done."