Newly-installed Formula One chief executive Chase Carey insists a British Grand Prix will remain on the sport’s calendar despite speculation that Silverstone could ditch the race from its calendar in 2019.
The circuit’s presence on the F1 schedule is in doubt after Silverstone’s owners confirmed earlier this month they were considering exercising a break clause in their contact due to the “potentially ruinous risk” posed by hosting fees.
Carey was confirmed as the sport’s new boss on Monday evening following US giant Liberty Media’s $8bn (£6.4bn) takeover, and is unequivocal that a British Grand Prix will continue to be a staple of the F1 agenda.
“We will have a British Grand Prix,” said Carey. “The foundation of the sport is western Europe. We want to grow it. There’s a negotiating dynamic that exists, but we want a healthy relationship with our promoters.
“We are willing to invest in the sport but we are the new guys so everyone wants to come in and figure it’s a chance to renegotiate. So I don’t think that’s the right mindset.
“We think these races should be bigger and more profitable and we are willing to work with promoters to figure out how to achieve that. That’s our goal.”
Carey’s appointment as F1 chief executive saw Bernie Ecclestone’s 40-year reign as the sport’s figurehead ended. Ecclestone, 86, has been offered a new advisory role as chairman emeritus, and Carey is clear that a new management style will be implemented.
“Bernie ran a one-man show. I don’t plan to run a one-man show,” added Carey, a former president of 21st Century Fox. “The decision-making is not as effective as it needs to be. Clearly it has to be improved.
“Bernie deserves enormous credit for the sport he built. It just got sold for $8bn so the proof is in the numbers. [But] he calls himself a dictator. He has run it as a one-man dictatorship for a long time.
“I think the sport needs a fresh perspective. In many ways, in a simplistic sense, the sport said ‘no’ too much and we have to start saying ‘yes’ – not gimmick it up but find ways to do new and exciting things to have the sport continue to grow and interest people.”
One such initiative could be a street race in the United States. Liberty, which also owns baseball’s Atlanta Braves, views growth in America – F1 currently visits Austin, Texas once a season – as pivotal.
“We would like to add a destination race in the United States in a location like New York, Los Angeles, Miami or Las Vegas,” said Carey, who has talked of developing “21 Super Bowls”. “We haven’t invested in the way we need to build in the US market.”