These are worrying times for any British Formula one fan as the bleak prospect of there not being a race in the country after the next one at Silverstone in 2019 seems to be a real possibility. With spiralling costs and Silverstone confirming that they cannot afford to host it the curtain may well fall on a race on the circuit that has been going since nineteen fifty and the inaugural Grand Prix season. Along with Monza, Spa and Monte Carlo it is one of the longest running events on the calendar. There’s a very good reason then to join the Britain F1 Paddock Club before the drought begins and we have to go to France to see the stars of Formula one (France only just getting back it’s race after an absence of over ten years!). Go to edgeglobalevents.com/f1-paddock-club/f1-paddock-club-britain to see what is available package wise.
The good news is although 2020 is looming there maybe hope that another track either built or to be created could take up the mantle. The criticism of Silverstone has been going for years; facilities were poor but greatly improved now. Parking was a nightmare when there if you could actually get in in the first place as the roads were clogged around the rural setting for hours before the race. Bernie Ecclestone himself commented that the only way in and out was by helicopter and that was not within the means of most race fans. Numbers to the event reach one hundred and thirty thousand and many road improvements have been made. There are a few alternatives.
- Brands Hatch or Donnington Park. While they many have hosted Grand Prixes in the past, the emphasis is “in the past”. Brands and Donnington are both grade two listed tracks and they would need substantial work to upgrade them. Furthermore Brands can now only cope with fifty thousand visitors and the site has noise restrictions on it from residents. While it has no restrictions Donnington is better placed in infrastructure and is near an airport. It was due to take the Grand Prix from Silverstone but could never get the funding to make the track improvements. It remains though the best track alternative.
- The Circuit of Wales. On the face of it the Circuit of Wales is a great idea. It is to be built in Ebbw Vale and should bring a much needed shot of income into one of the poorest and deprived areas of the country that has still not recovered from the loss of its Coal mines. The saga goes on as the first company owes debts of £31 million but a new project with a technology park might save it.
- This looks like the most likely option. The track will take in some iconic sights around St James Park and the Mall plus the owners of F1 want more street circuits.
It seems we live in interesting times.