Zak Brown says it would be “unfortunate” if Britain counts itself out of Formula 1’s attempt to get back up and racing in 2020. Seven of the ten F1 teams, including Brown-led McLaren, are based in the UK. But the British government’s 14-day quarantine rule could rule out Silverstone as the host of the next ‘ghost races’ after Austria in July.
Not only that, the quarantine rule could also mean British-based race teams need to stay out of the country while races take place elsewhere in Europe. “It throws a wrench in the plan for Silverstone, because there are options to just race in Europe and maybe not come back so often,” McLaren supremo Brown told the Evening Standard.
“It would be a shame to miss the British GP but, if all the other countries are ready to go, we can’t let any one country stop F1 from happening if the rest of the world is ready for us,” he added. “If we get restricted in our homeland, that’s going to make manoeuvring around a big challenge.” It appears that Hockenheim, the former German GP venue, could step in to fill the hole left by Silverstone.
“In a year in which we must cope with massive sales losses, our goal must be to generate income with Formula 1 as well,” Hockenheim boss Jorn Teske told Kolner Express newspaper. “Further discussions should show whether and how this can be achieved,” he added. The head of Motorsport UK, former team boss David Richards, told the Daily Telegraph that the British government’s stance could affect the F1 industry.
“People forget that there is probably not one other sport that has such a big economic impact on this country as Formula 1, in terms of the number of people employed here, either directly or indirectly,” he said. “With the right precautions, we must be able to find a sensible way to protect the community locally and to handle this professionally for the teams. I can’t see why that shouldn’t happen.”
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