Formula One chief Sean Bratches: Britain could get three grands prix a year

 
Oliver Gill
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Sean Bratches rejoined Chase Carey at F1 after working with him during a long career at ESPN (Source: Getty)

Britain could have as many as three grands prix in future Formula One seasons, the motorsport organisation’s commercial chief Sean Bratches has told City A.M.

Bratches said there could be two races in Britain without either of them taking place at Silverstone, whose owners this week relinquished the right to stage the event after 2019.

It comes amid renewed excitement about a possible London grand prix, with City A.M. revealing today that a second East End venue is in the running to host an F1 race.

Bratches said

There could be two and not include Silverstone. There could three theoretically. There is no governance that says you can only have one grand prix in each country.

Read the full interview: Bratches takes the wheel: F1 boss on revamp plans and British Grand Prix

Bratches reiterated F1’s commitment to staging races in Britain, easing concerns heightened by Silverstone’s owners, the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC), cancelling their contract over escalating fees.

A new deal could yet be struck with the BRDC, who know theirs is currently a more viable proposition than rival venues at Brands Hatch, Donington Park and Aintree.

Bratches emphasised that Silverstone would remain on the calendar at least until 2020 – this year’s grand prix is on Sunday – but insisted that alternative British tracks were under consideration.

Luxury

“We want a deal for a British Grand Prix,” the American former ESPN vice-president of sales and marketing added.

“We have a luxury of time. We have luxury of interest from many parts of this great country in which Formula One was founded and where we reside, and where we have just signed a 15-year lease and where is our home.”

Speculation about a possible London grand prix has gathered pace in recent months and been lent further momentum by the BRDC’s readiness to remove Silverstone from the calendar.

The capital’s appetite for motorsport was illustrated on Wednesday evening, when thousands flocked to Whitehall and Trafalgar Square for a live display of F1 cars – the first of its kind for more than a decade.

Mayor Sadiq Khan took the opportunity to reiterate his willingness to work with F1’s new owners Liberty Media on staging a London race, saying he would be happy “to make it happen”.

Read more: Malaysian F1 boss: New owners don't know what they're doing

Bratches said he was considering a number of proposals from potential host cities but played down talk of an imminent agreement with London.

“I think it’s premature. We have an agreement with Silverstone for three more years,” he said.

“We’re talking to people around the world about grands prix. I’ve been in this chair for six months and I’ve probably had 40 principalities come to me with presentations on why they want to host a grand prix.”

Read more: Mayor: London ready to replace Silverstone as British GP host

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