Silverstone hits back at posturing charge

British grand prix organisers have hit back at F1 owner Liberty Media, after being accused of "posturing".

We reported earlier that, as the British Racing Drivers' Club triggered a post-2019 break clause in its race contract, Liberty criticised the timing of the move in grand prix week.

BRDC chairman John Grant hit back: "It was absolutely not posturing.

"We had one chance to protect our future. We left it to the last possible moment as we wanted to keep all our options open."

However, as Silverstone gears up for this weekend's 2017 race, the news is not a good look.

"This week should be one of great celebration for F1 and Silverstone," a Liberty spokesperson said. "We deeply regret that Silverstone has chosen instead to use this week to posture.

"We offered to extend the current deadlines. Regretfully the Silverstone management has chosen to look for a short-term advantage to benefit their position," he added.

But Grant argued that Silverstone can simply no longer afford the escalating annual fee, which was presented by former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone with "no alternative".

"We want to make it clear that we are open to further cooperation with our friends at Liberty Media," he said.

However, it may be a risky strategy for the BRDC, especially as Liberty is promoting a pre-race demonstration event in the capital London this week.

But Grant said London as an alternative British grand prix venue makes "no sense".

"Liberty say they want to protect the iconic circuits, and Silverstone is the only iconic formula one circuit in Britain," he insisted.

(GMM)

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