F1 contract protects British GP UPDATE #2 Max Mosley has added his voice to the controversy surrounding the future of the British Grand Prix. The President of the FIA said today that that body could not force Bernie Ecclestone to hold a Grand Prix in Britain.
In recent days certain leading figures in the debate, including British Racing Drivers Club Chairman Damon Hill, have suggested that the sport is duty-bound to retain certain historical events to preserve its core audience and legacy. The sport’s constitution, the Concorde Agreement, is thought to contain a proviso to that effect.
But Mosley hinted there would be a way of circumventing any agreement, written or otherwise, to which the FIA could be held.
“The FIA’s deal with Bernie means he cannot present a calendar without the traditional Grand Prix,” he told The Guardian. “However, it is not our role to insist that a Grand Prix takes place in a sub- standard venue.
“Just like people who want the World Cup or the Olympic Games have to pay the going rate, what we cannot do is to force Bernie to race below the going rate,” said Mosley.
05/05/09 (GMM) Two central figures have played down reports that contractual protections could safeguard Britain's traditional spot on the formula one calendar.
It emerged this week that not only are key European events singled out for protection by the FIA, the same special status for the races is mentioned in F1's separate commercial arrangements.
But Damon Hill, president of the Silverstone-owning British Racing Drivers' Club, said the potential demise of Donington's 2010 contract would not mean the automatic reversion to another British venue.
Referring to the protection clauses for key races including the British grand prix, he said: "It's always been a statement of intention rather than a solid agreement.
"The trouble is, there is no way of enforcing it," Hill told the Daily Telegraph.
FIA president Max Mosley agrees that while some races do have protected status, F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone is not stringently bound to maintaining those events.
"The FIA's deal with Bernie means he cannot present a calendar without the traditional grands prix," he told The Guardian.
"However it is not our role to insist that a grand prix takes place in a sub- standard venue.
"Just like people who want the World Cup or the Olympic Games have to pay the going rate, what we cannot do is to force Bernie to race below the going rate," said Mosley. 05/04/09 (GMM) Amid all the doubts about the future of the British grand prix, a formula one race in the country is a contractual requirement, the Times newspaper has reported.
It was already known that certain traditional European races - including in Italy, Belgium, Germany, France and Britain - enjoy protected status with the governing FIA.
Max Mosley revealed recently that the protection is limited, but it now emerges that the famous races will also be safeguarded by the next Concorde Agreement that Bernie Ecclestone wants the teams to sign.
With Donington's 2010 date in doubt, current British GP venue Silverstone is therefore "on standby" to host formula one beyond June's race, the newspaper claimed.
An unnamed team boss reportedly said that "the contract demands specifically that (the) five key races are protected as part of formula one's heritage".
However, despite the report, France has dropped off the 2009 calendar, although serious efforts to restore the country's place in F1 are being made.
"Britain is a key protected race," said Damon Hill, president of the British Racing Drivers' Club, which owns Silverstone.
"Everybody was skeptical about Donington from the start, yet we have funds here to improve our circuit and we are improving all the time.
"The FIA should also act responsibly for the health and wellbeing of the sport," said the 1996 world champion. "Britain is a protected race and they should look after it."