Formula 1

McLaren’s Brown says F1 owner Liberty Media should buy Silverstone – F1

McLaren boss Zak Brown says new Formula 1 owner Liberty Media should buy Silverstone to help secure the long-term future of the British Grand Prix.

Silverstone owner the British Racing Drivers’ Club is expected to announce next week that it will activate a break clause to terminate its British GP deal beyond 2019.

While that will allow the circuit to renegotiate the terms of its deal, it has also thrown the fate of the event into doubt.

One of the issues that has threatened Silverstone is a heavy escalator in its F1 rights-fee that will make it impossible to break even in the future.

While there has been talk of the British GP finding a new home, a reduced rights-fee for Silverstone offers a more realistic and long-term solution.

But Brown, who recently met with Liberty to discuss the future of F1, thinks the best way forward would be for F1’s new owners to purchase Silverstone from the BRDC.

“My view is Liberty should buy Silverstone,” said Brown.

“Much like the NFL – which is a pretty successful sport – they own the Super Bowl which moves around.

“I think Silverstone is a great track.

“I sympathise if, with the escalator, it cannot make money, so we need to figure out a way for them to make money.

“So we either create new revenue streams or recut the deal.”

Brown said Silverstone could create new revenue streams by becoming a hub for F1 with attractions for fans, and could also be used as a pre-season testing venue.

“You could do an F1 Hall of Fame, you could do racing schools, and eSports,” he added.

“If you owned the property yourself there is a lot of incremental activities.

“Testing too. Maybe instead of it all being in Barcelona for eight days, you could do it at Silverstone – and really open it up to the fans.

“Personally I think it would be a great acquisition.”

Brown added Liberty had not dismissed his views after he voiced them.

“I have voiced my views on that,” he said.

“They listen. They will be quick to tell you if they disagree, and they didn’t disagree with the logic.

“But I wouldn’t want to put words in their mouth that they are going out to buy it.

“The nice thing about Liberty is that you can just share your views, take them on board, see them register and they have a lot of stuff going on.

“It is easy for me to say just go buy it.”

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