Christian Horner slams Silverstone 'mismanagement' as they reveal €9m losses despite sell-out crowds

Christian Horner slams Silverstone 'mismanagement' as they reveal €9m losses despite sell-out crowds

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has accused Silverstone of "serious misjudgement and mismanagement" after the circuit's owners gave notice of their intent to pull the plug on Formula One.

The British Grand Prix is now in danger of being chalked off the calendar following the decision taken by the British Racing Drivers' Club which owns the Northamptonshire circuit.

The BRDC are hopeful that their decision to activate a release clause in its current deal after 2019 will allow them to negotiate a more affordable contract with Formula One's new American owners Liberty Media.

Silverstone agreed a 17-year contract back in 2010, but they believe the hosting fee - which increases by five per cent each year - is not sustainable. Indeed on Tuesday the BRDC announced losses of almost £8m (€9m) for staging the race over the past two years despite attracting sell-out crowds.

But Horner, a member of the BRDC, believes their decision could backfire, with F1's owners not guaranteed to cut them a more financially viable deal.

"I am amazed that they have triggered their break clause," Horner said. "Silverstone signed a contract in 2010, and they knew what they were entering into at the time.

"They have now realised that they can't afford it despite having a full house every year. They either should not have signed it in the first place or they got their maths wrong.

"Silverstone gets favourable rates anyway. It is hard to imagine they lose money putting 120,000 people in there, plus all the corporate tickets they sell during the course of a grand prix weekend. For me, I would question how it has been managed and the negotiations they had in the first place."

The future of the British Grand Prix has been called into question on numerous occasions in the past with former F1 overlord Bernie Ecclestone among Silverstone's chief critics.

The BRDC responded by spending £27m (€30m) on its state-of-the-art 'Wing' pit complex which it opened to much aplomb in 2011.

But Horner added: "From a team's perspective, we can't see any changes. They spent a fortune on the pits and they put them in the wrong place.

"They have created a paddock with zero atmosphere at one of the most historic race tracks in the UK, so there has been some serious misjudgement and mismanagement.

"It is the British Grand Prix and Britain should have a grand prix but there has been some questionable calls.

"My preference would be to see the British Grand Prix stay at Silverstone and hopefully they can thrash out a deal to protect the longevity there, but it probably needs a fresh set of eyes to look at how it is run and operated."

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