Silverstone, the home of the British Grand Prix, is under threat along with several other traditional Formula One circuits, according to a leading sports marketer.
Andrew Philpott, global practice leader for Formula One at sports marketing agency Prism, says that the UK’s premier race venue faces stiff financial competition from new, heavily subsidised circuits.
He adds: “F1 as a sport has grown and evolved globally in the past few years with a number of new circuits joining the fold such as Shanghai, Bahrain and Istanbul.”
“These circuits, either through private or government funding, have developed modern facilities, met FIA specifications and now host a Formula One race.”
Philpott believes that as the new tracks often receive government subsidies, they will be able to outbid the traditional tracks.
Tony Jardine, a director of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, which owns Silverstone, accepts that the circuit is facing a financial challenge to match the levels of investment from newer circuits.
But he points out that Silverstone is lobbying hard for government financial support and insists it will survive due its popularity with the teams, the drivers and the fans.