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Silverstone concerned by F1’s plans for London Docklands race

The organisers of the Silverstone Grand Prix say Formula One’s plans to hold an additional race in London could undermine the chances of it renewing its contract with the motor racing series.

The Northamptonshire circuit’s contract with Formula One runs out after this month’s British Grand Prix and the two parties were understood to have agreed terms on a new hosting deal. But Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle told the BBC that it had subsequently learned of Formula One’s plans to hold a race in the Dockland area of East London which “significantly increase the risk” in the new contract.

Silverstone is concerned that having two grands prix in Britain within 80 miles of each other could reduce attendances at its event. Furthermore, it believes the two races would both have to take place in a small window in the summer because of the British weather.

“F1 have admitted to us for the first time that they want to have a race in London,” Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle told the BBC. “That’s a material change because it’s different to previous arrangements and Britain is not a very big island and it’s a commercial concern.

“Throughout this process we have sought to manage the significant risk that comes with promoting an F1 race and this does nothing to reduce it.”

However, Pringle said the parties were still talking and Silverstone continued to be committed to hosting the British Grand Prix.