British GP reaction

Martin Brundle (BRDC vice-president)

“If you look for the positives, it seems like there will be a GP, which was in doubt. The drivers will be disappointed, because they love Silverstone. I like Donington, but I would’ve thought they need to be firing up the bulldozers now to have that ready to host the GP in 2010, and I’m confused about how it’s going to work with the roads and the infrastructure. But if it does the job, then fine. I was involved at Silverstone in getting the roads and car parks changed, and then the next phase – replacing the pits – got switched off when Octagon, or Interpublic, left. The problem is that however you do the sums, all it’s ever going to do is lose a huge amount of money. I would imagine to some extent there’s relief, because they were probably going to mortgage themselves to the hilt to put that new facility up. They can still fill the place with other events.”

John Watson (1981 British GP winner)

“I’m sad that the GP will be leaving Silverstone, but I’m not surprised. In fairness they’ve worked tirelessly to put together a package, and I think they woke up on the Friday of the GP and realised they had found the end of a piece of string. Equally I feel Bernie has been fairer to Silverstone, in terms of trying to accommodate them, than he might have been with other venues. He comes in for unfair criticism of the way he handles the contracts with the circuits. I understand his frustration – I can see why he would feel frustrated. I’ve no idea about the finances at Donington. They need to have a facility that is appropriate to the requirements of a modern F1 venue. If they’ve given an undertaking to deliver in 2010, and they do just that, then they’ve done a bloody good job.”

Jackie Stewart (Former BRDC president)

“Silverstone has a mature and complete management structure to run a Grand Prix. Nobody else currently has that for a GP in this country. There was no traffic at Silverstone this year because of the traffic management, because of the link between the M40 and the M1. I fear economically for what Donington is going to have to do to be able to afford a GP. I think what will happen to them is what happened with Octagon and IPG. Everybody gets intoxicated by the idea of, ‘I’m going to have a GP.’ All the rich folk I know, they know how to make money, and enjoy making money. What they don’t enjoy is losing money, and when they keep losing it, they get out. We don’t need that. It’s also under the flight path of an international airport with kerosene dropping all the time…”

Jackie Oliver (BRDC director)

“I’ll be interested to see whether they can bring Donington up to Silverstone’s standard, or more importantly above it, which would be the requirement of any contract. It will be sad for Silverstone to lose the GP for a number of reasons, and they’re not financial. Holding the GP is great for Silverstone, and it has a halo effect. It’s never been the most profitable event, but it was worth the effort – if you don’t try, you don’t get. Perhaps we should continue to try in case Donington can’t host it. I hope if they do need to come back to Silverstone they haven’t damaged the process on which we’ve been working hard, making us a lame duck. It would have been intelligent to pursue both options to see who would deliver. But that’s not the way of negotiating tactics in F1.”