Silverstone would host breakaway race
(GMM) Damon Hill has hinted that departing British GP venue Silverstone could side against formula one if the series splits and a breakaway championship is formed.
The Northamptonshire venue is preparing to host its final grand prix next weekend, after Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA awarded rival Donington Park the hosting rights from 2010 until 2027.
A sell-out crowd is expected at Silverstone this weekend, it is loved by fans and drivers alike, but track-owner the BRDC's president Hill told the Press Association that it could not compete with the fees and facilities offered by government-subsidized venues.
"The reason is simply because I am not king and this isn't my country," said the 1996 world champion. "My belief is that it is the ambition of formula one to be funded by governments wherever it goes, to have state funding.
"If that is the case, a commercial operation (like Silverstone) doesn't fulfill that ambition," added Hill.
The Briton also said he "does not like" the constant criticism of the British Racing Drivers' Club by figures including Bernie Ecclestone, and to another publication hinted that it would explore the chance to host an alternate series.
A breakaway will move closer to reality on Friday, depending on the content of the FIA's 2010 entry list.
Hill is quoted as saying by London's Evening Standard: "We value our relationship with formula one and we want that tradition to continue. But we're a business, too.
"So if another event came along, clearly there would have to be discussions."