Liberty not to blame for Silverstone impasse - Warwick

Derek Warwick-Bernie Ecclestone
© XPB 

BRDC President Derek Warwick says that British GP negotiations also reached an impasse during the Ecclestone era, when the club's financial struggles associated with the event began.

The British Racing Drivers' Association activated a break-clause of its British GP contract this week, effectively releasing it of its obligations with F1 beyond 2019.

The BRDC, which owns Silverstone, can no longer afford a franchise fee negotiated with Ecclestone in 2009 and which included an annual five percent escalator.

Warwick insisted that affairs were no easier when the former supremo was in charge, quite the contrary.

Bernie -- before Liberty -- knew that we were struggling financially. That came to a dead end as well, and now with Liberty we still can't seem to bridge that gap.

We understand that Liberty can't just open their books up and cut the sanction fee, we know that's not possible because they'll have 19 or 20 other grands prix breathing down their necks straight away.

"But can I remind everybody that every grand prix that Bernie has put together over the last 20 or 30 years or whatever have all had their own individual sanction fee, ratchet, bonuses, sponsorship, TV rights, etc.

"So we're not all the same, we haven't been the same and therefore we shouldn't be treated the same.

"The fact that all - as far as I am aware - other grand prix countries have some kind of support from benefactors, sovereign wealth funds, local communes - i.e. Monaco - and governments.

"We don't have that luxury, so it has to stack up as a commercial venture and it doesn't."

Despite its undisputed popular success, the British GP event loses money because of Silverstone limited avenues of income. 

"We can only sell so many seats, there are only so many fans that will come to the British Grand Prix. We outsell every grand prix around the world.

"We probably get more average ticket price than anywhere around the world. But of course they've always got this sponge sat in the background that will fund whatever the difference is.

"But as far as the British Grand Prix is concerned, we can't sell sponsorship, we can't have TV money, we can't have any merchandise rights -- Formula One takes all of that.

"The only thing we can sell is grand prix tickets and a little bit of hospitality. If those figures don't add up to more than what the sanctioning fee is and the ratchet, you don't need to be a mathematician to say that it just does not work.

"If we're losing an average of £3million or £4million a year, we're not making that up, they're facts." 

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