Honda website
Honda website

JULY 21, 2003

Thirty days for Silverstone

Bernie Ecclestone has given Silverstone 30 days in which to come up with a financial solution to the funding of the work to improve the track. If this is not in place in the time available Ecclestone says that he will put a race on in Turkey next year in July. The track in Istanbul is not yet built and it is doubtful that all the necessary work can be completed in the time available but the threat must still be taken seriously by the British Racing Drivers' Club. Ecclestone says that the BRDC must take a loan of $56m to pay for the promised new pit complex on Hangar Straight.

"They could make up their minds next week if necessary - if Jackie [Stewart, BRDC president] says we can do it and the government comes on board," said Ecclestone. "When both of those things have happened, then we are in business. We have said then that we will confirm in writing that the FIA Formula 1 World Championship will remain at Silverstone until 2015. We will guarantee the government that. If we have not got a firm commitment from those people by the middle of August, then we will be able to make an agreement with Octagon to say bye-bye and get out of it. Simple as that. Then we would be out in the cold with nowhere to race. The BRDC cannot say they cannot afford to borrow money. They get £8m ($11m) a year in rent from Octagon and they don't spend anything. I have never seen any money out of the BRDC. You know, I want a new G5 airplane - that's what I really want - but I can't afford it, so I am not having one. If he can't afford the Grand Prix, he should go without because there are plenty of people out there who can afford it.

"I don't want to dump the British Grand Prix," he said. "I want a British Grand Prix - but I want it to be the best. We are supposed to be the best in this country and this should be the best Grand Prix in the world."