The Formula One group must today decide what to do about the future of the British Grand Prix following the news that the planned £135m bond issue has been withdrawn. The failure of the fund-raising scheme spells the end of Donington Park’s British Grand Prix dream and a new deal must now be struck with Silverstone to ensure that the race goes ahead. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with Silverstone. It has had a rocky relationship with Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, but he knows that it is an essential part of the F1 circus and the failure of the Donington Park plan is a clear sign that he must give up dreaming of alternatives and find a way to work with Silverstone.
Silverstone wants a new long term deal deal and this is the only logical solution. But while this may seem like a victory for the Northamptonshire circuit, it must also be aware that it needs to move with he times. Ecclestone’s primary beef with Silverstone has been that it has not done what it said it would do. Perhaps that was not easy given the financial demands of the Formula One group and the lack of help from the government. A little compromise on both sides would go a long way to solving the problems.
The real problem is that the structure of the F1 business takes too much away from the promoters and allows 50% of the money generated to leave the sport. If that problem can be solved then everyone in the sport will be better off. The venture capitalists have had their feast at the F1 table and the sport must now find a way to show them the door and retake control of its own destiny.