Motorsport: Ecclestone tells British GP to stop moaning

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone looks on in the paddock during Grand Prix of Belgium. Photo / Getty Images
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone looks on in the paddock during Grand Prix of Belgium. Photo / Getty Images

Bernie Ecclestone has said Silverstone should stop moaning about the cost of hosting the British Grand Prix and do their job properly.

On another tumultuous day in Formula One, in which the Manor team went into administration, Ecclestone told Sportsmail: 'I don't see why they can't make it work. They get bigger crowds than anywhere else in Europe, and nobody else is complaining.'

Ecclestone's comments come after John Grant, chairman of the circuit's owners, the British Racing Drivers' Club, warned members that the grand prix is 'potentially ruinous' to their finances and raised the possibility of activating a break clause to stop hosting the race after the 2019 edition.

Grant said a decision would be made by the middle of the year.

Under the terms of the deal agreed in 2009, Silverstone pay Ecclestone a fee that rises by five per cent each year, taking the figure from £12million in 2010 to £26m by 2027.

That is not dissimilar to the average of £19m recently agreed between Ecclestone and the Italian Grand Prix authorities for the race at Monza.

Silverstone have tried before to get government funding to help them out, though that has been rejected. But the 1996 Formula One champion, Damon Hill, president of the BRDC when the current deal was signed, renewed the bid for state funding.

'This is a much-loved national event but it has always been very difficult to get additional funding from government. Maybe now is the time to look at the British Grand Prix in the context of what is happening elsewhere and realise it is an extremely good shop window for waving our banner and pointing to our brilliance in this field.'

Manor, meanwhile, face a struggle to make the grid for the opening race in Melbourne on March 26. Unless investment is found 212 jobs are at risk at their Oxfordshire base.

They had hoped to bring in investors last season, but were leapfrogged by Sauber for 10th place in the constructors' championship after the race in Brazil, a result that knocked millions off Manor's prize-money earnings and made them less attractive to buyers.

- Daily Mail

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