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Silverstone to opt out of hosting GP

Silverstone to opt out of hosting GP

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Derek Smith

Original Poster:

27,429 posts

164 months

Friday 6th January
quotequote all
smartypants said:
There are SO many better motoring events held at Silverstone. F1 has been probably the worst motorsport experience I've ever attended. They should drop it. When you have things like the Silverstone Classic it's pretty sad that Silverstone think they need F1 to keep the punters rolling in.
It might just be that I'm getting old but I enjoy the current range of classic events. Silverstone and Goodwood's pair are a real treat. For the same price of the British GP I can have days away and not only that get to be near to the cars except, of course, when they are racing. I wandered between two rows of GP cars a couple of years ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdRv3t5iHWo

2015 it rained more than a little: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzOsqYAu0HQ

2016 it was dry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8T-dRz6pcLo

All cheaper than the GP.




RobinSherwood

321 posts

131 months

Friday 6th January
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Derek Smith said:
Donington's got the M1, and I'm sure that will cope without problems. Mind you, there's the airport.

The M1 might cope but the roads between the M1 and the circuit would be gridlocked. It would be back to the days of taking four hours just to get out of the car park! It is bad enough during something like a BTCC weekend, for F1 it would be utter chaos.

smartypants

28,427 posts

85 months

Friday 6th January
quotequote all
Derek Smith said:
It might just be that I'm getting old but I enjoy the current range of classic events. Silverstone and Goodwood's pair are a real treat. For the same price of the British GP I can have days away and not only that get to be near to the cars except, of course, when they are racing. I wandered between two rows of GP cars a couple of years ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdRv3t5iHWo

2015 it rained more than a little: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzOsqYAu0HQ

2016 it was dry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8T-dRz6pcLo

All cheaper than the GP.
I don't think it's age, well I don't consider 30 (when I first went to the Classic) as old! The fact you get to be that close to a Group C car that you can feel your rib cage rattle is just something any true motorsport fan should go and experience.

Watching the procession of hairdyrers that is F1 go round is extremely dull. Am still an F1 fan, but only on the TV. As a trackside spectacle it's pretty poor.

If this noise doesn't give you goosebumps hand in your man card smile

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prBbjMDwg10

sparta6

375 posts

16 months

Friday 6th January
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Brands is by far the best circuit from a driver and spectators POV. But I doubt even Palmer could make the ££'s shake out to an equitable solution given F1's greed.

Ahonen

4,079 posts

195 months

Friday 6th January
quotequote all
RobinSherwood said:
Derek Smith said:
Donington's got the M1, and I'm sure that will cope without problems. Mind you, there's the airport.

The M1 might cope but the roads between the M1 and the circuit would be gridlocked. It would be back to the days of taking four hours just to get out of the car park! It is bad enough during something like a BTCC weekend, for F1 it would be utter chaos.
I went with my parents to the very first UK truck race at Donington in around '84 and it genuinely did take four hours to leave the car park. I've never experienced anything like that since.

The bottleneck of those last two miles to the track would be horrendous from the M1 and A42. Hey, maybe a park and ride system from Nottingham could work...
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FourWheelDrift

70,779 posts

200 months

Friday 6th January
quotequote all
RobinSherwood said:
Derek Smith said:
Donington's got the M1, and I'm sure that will cope without problems. Mind you, there's the airport.

The M1 might cope but the roads between the M1 and the circuit would be gridlocked. It would be back to the days of taking four hours just to get out of the car park! It is bad enough during something like a BTCC weekend, for F1 it would be utter chaos.
I spent 2hrs trying to get off the M1 one year for the privilege of wandering the mud flats and burger hell of the BTCC at Donington. Never again.

mcdjl

2,904 posts

111 months

Friday 6th January
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ukaskew said:
They'd never go to Brands now, completely impractical. Donington is the only vaguely suitable circuit that could be upgraded.
Donington got a great upgrade about 7 years ago to host the F1...that worked out so well. Or theres that new circuit over in Wales that opened last year...well the building site might have done.

FourWheelDrift

70,779 posts

200 months

Friday 6th January
quotequote all
Back in May Bernie said a London Grand Prix could happen as soon as next year, maybe he knew of this threat for a while and has been pretending he has this lined up.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/sportsnews/articl...

Derek Smith

Original Poster:

27,429 posts

164 months

Friday 6th January
quotequote all
Ahonen said:
I went with my parents to the very first UK truck race at Donington in around '84 and it genuinely did take four hours to leave the car park. I've never experienced anything like that since.

The bottleneck of those last two miles to the track would be horrendous from the M1 and A42. Hey, maybe a park and ride system from Nottingham could work...
I went for the weekend to see WSC in '89. The best 90 minutes of racing I've ever seen, but then the Jags had problems and it was left to a Nissan to make out it was threatening the to leading C9 Mercs, so we had four and a half hours of watching silver cars in the lead. We were invited into the Merc tent area after the race - a really nice crowd of blokes we'd been exchanging words with all weekend - and enjoyed a meal with them, while my mate got drunk. We were there for about two hours. We took our tent down, cleared up and then joined the queue to the M1.

When we left Brands in 87 after the Silk Cut Jags beat the Mercs, due in the main to the latter two colliding, we got out smoothly and without delay.


Sir Bagalot

4,154 posts

97 months

Friday 6th January
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F355GTS said:
StevieBee said:
Some sums:

Let's say the GP brings in 200,000 people over three days, each spending - say - an average of £180 on tickets. That yields £36m in income.

I recall reading somewhere that hospitality packages and the like bring in around £15m

Concessions? - haven;t a clue but I'd peg this at around £2m

Event sponsorship will probably be in the region of £2m (probably a lot higher)

And there's probably around another £2m of beneficial add on such as cross selling other events and the like.

So, very conservatively you're looking at total event revenue of around £57m - £60m.

I'm not saying that the fee to F1 is right. But the surely BRDC would have known what the fees would be when they signed up and any other business would have done their forecasts, risks assessments, etc and determined whether what was on the table was affordable. If it wasn't, they would have either negotiated more favourable rates or not signed the deal.

But the BRDC is not a business, it's a club of racing drivers for which I have the greatest of respect and admiration. But, with a potential income of £60m even taking into account all the other costs such as traffic management, security, event marketing, etc.. £60m should be sufficient to cover all costs and return a decent profit.

There exists a problem across the whole of motorsport in that most of the organisers deem it to be an endeavour for the sole benefit of participants which is why highly entertaining club meetings on lovely summer days are regularly spectated by no more than a 100 or so people and why the BRDC cannot make the GP pay.

But as I say, this does not excuse the fact that the prices the F1 promoters charge is too high for what you get. But I don't think it is the primary reason why the British GP is under threat.
I suspect it's more like an average of 70,000 per day spending an average of £70 so maybe around £15m of ticket sales
Over the weekend total is 3-400,000. A Friday only ticket is £55. A weekend international pit straights weekend ticket is £599.

I used to go every year. 20% price hike a few years back put a stop to thatyes

Dan_1981

12,689 posts

115 months

Friday 6th January
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Not a chance that Donington could host it again.

If anyone has been recently it's so far away from an F1 track its ridiculous.


Access is still awful even for something relatively small such as the BTCC or Truck racing.

I love the track & the spectator view points are great at the moment but would be ruined by expensive grandstands & seating areas.


towser44

680 posts

31 months

Friday 6th January
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re ticket sales, I thought I heard on ITN news last night,that Silverstone only get a percentage of the hospitality ticket sales. Assume therefore that the provider and/or Bernie gets the rest?

Derek Smith

Original Poster:

27,429 posts

164 months

Friday 6th January
quotequote all
There are exclusive comments from Ecclestone on ITN - they doorstepped him. I'm not sure I believe what he says though, whatever it is.

What will govern what's going to happen is the intent of Liberty. If they think they need the classic circuits then they need the old European stalwarts. On the other hand, if they are going for 20+ races then two cheaper race venues will give them as much profit.

There's been nothing from Liberty apart from some bland reassurances. One would assume they are in talks but with whom? There's no FOCA, so Ferrari will no doubt be first call and Red Bull will sulk. Merc will threaten to pull out if they don't get what they want. McLaren will be of no consequence and Williams won't be asked.

With Manor going to the wall there is the (remote?) possibility that there will be two fewer cars on the grid. That won't be welcome news to Liberty. I wonder if it will precipitate some move, a reallocation of winnings possibly? Like the threat from Silverstone, it is a warning.

Over recent times there's been just the one power broker. The FIA has little influence over, even less income from, F1 so Todt's absence is perhaps understandable. The teams have no real power, and with Ferrari jealously guarding its advantages this is likely to continue. It is a nice thought that Liberty might tell them to get on their bike if they want, but I would have thought they can't afford to upset the Italian fans. But then, nor the British come to that.

The Spanish fans seem not to be bothered, rather like Alonso. So whilst we kid ourselves that F1 is Europe, a God's Own Country or three, and a couple of other places the circus used to condescend to travel to, it's future might mean sand, rice and curry.

The only thing going for European races is that if European can't be bothered then it ceases to be a premiere league sport and it loses its marketability. Perhaps a drop in price has a business case?

Another thing that puts F1 at risk is competition, and not only classic events. I went to an LMES race at Silverstone one year, 2005 or 6, and there was no traffic. Fair enough, I set out early, about four hours after I would have done for an F1 event. I had a special parking permit for the area used by the teams, and it had more cars in it than all the others I'd passed put together. I'd had to hunt on the website to find start times.

I spoke with one of the team principles, asking him why the lack of promotion generally, even by the circuit. He said that the BRDC was negotiating with Ecclestone, who was then buddies with Mosley, and they could not afford to upset him. Despite it raining, they didn't even bother to open the covered stands. The circuit put it to the teams that the race should stop at four and a half hours. One of the mechanics said that it was all politics.

Todt seems to be keen on other formulae. So promotion of sports car racing has increased, to the extent of cooperation with the ACO I've read, although that seems iffy.

One thing, though: Silverstone is not an entirely spectator-friendly place. The main stands along the pitstraight provide a view of a little bit of the track, and that's as long as you don't sit behind some idiot with a flag on a stick. You can't even see some of the pits!

I'd love it if Brands did get the race, but I'm not sure I'd accept having to wait until midnight before getting out of the circuit.

It's a few years until 2019, plenty of time for 'things' to happen. Perhaps we'll get a different view of what's needed to get on board the generations that have been ignored by F1. Or perhaps someone negotiating who has the long term interest of the sport in his or her mind - now there's a revolutionary thought. Someone who realises that it's not fan or money, but that one feeds on the other.

I think this is a shot across the bows of Liberty. Nothing's been done yet, just a bit of salting the battlefield. Is so, about time the BRDC became a bit more aggressive.




rdjohn

2,245 posts

111 months

Friday 6th January
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In the early 90's I saw a contract for a Far East GP. The gist was that the circuit got the ticket sales only. They contracted to provide a space for the Paddock Club and an obligation to provide general entry tickets to all PC members. So actually that was a significant loss, rather than any gain.

I would imagine that Siverstone sells pitches to hospitality providers for significant bucks and then provides general enclosure tickets to their visitors. But I am certain it will be a very significant source of income for them, as are the franchises for hot-dog stands and beer tents, camp sites etc. But that is about it.

boxsey

2,772 posts

126 months

Friday 6th January
quotequote all
RobinSherwood said:
Derek Smith said:
Donington's got the M1, and I'm sure that will cope without problems. Mind you, there's the airport.

The M1 might cope but the roads between the M1 and the circuit would be gridlocked. It would be back to the days of taking four hours just to get out of the car park! It is bad enough during something like a BTCC weekend, for F1 it would be utter chaos.
Yep, took me close on 3 hours to get from the car park to the M1 when I went in my car to the MotoGP. Would have been a lot quicker if I still rode a bike! biggrin

jurbie

1,657 posts

117 months

Friday 6th January
quotequote all
One thing no one has mentioned is that from 2019 F1 will no longer be available on free to air TV in the UK. I suspect Silverstone are well aware of this and the likely dwindling ticket sales as F1 effectively becomes a niche sport.

Silverstone are doing the right thing and getting out while they can because in a few years they won't be able to give away tickets nevermind sell them at £160.

Turn7

13,246 posts

137 months

Friday 6th January
quotequote all
Silverstone couldnt make money from Motogp, let alone Bernies circus. Its doomed at current pricing.

Never mind, the Circuit of Wales has plenty of money....

Oh wait........

smartypants

28,427 posts

85 months

Friday 6th January
quotequote all
jurbie said:
One thing no one has mentioned is that from 2019 F1 will no longer be available on free to air TV in the UK. I suspect Silverstone are well aware of this and the likely dwindling ticket sales as F1 effectively becomes a niche sport.

Silverstone are doing the right thing and getting out while they can because in a few years they won't be able to give away tickets nevermind sell them at £160.
F1 is dying on it's arse yes

aeropilot

13,005 posts

143 months

Friday 6th January
quotequote all
Derek Smith said:
So no GP for me this year. I thought there was a rally cross event there but it would appear I am wrong.
British round of the World Rallycross Championship being held at Silverstone is from next year (2018) onwards.


b0rk

772 posts

62 months

Friday 6th January
quotequote all
RobinSherwood said:

The M1 might cope but the roads between the M1 and the circuit would be gridlocked. It would be back to the days of taking four hours just to get out of the car park! It is bad enough during something like a BTCC weekend, for F1 it would be utter chaos.
No it would be just like a BTCC weekend as the venue isn't licensed for a 140k attendance. The actual licensed venue figure including all staff and performers is max 120,000 under the terms of the north Leicestershire council license any event of over 20,000 needs to be separately applied for and approved.
Download is currently the largest event hosted with a figure of no more than 110k allowed on site, for Silverstone to have 140k ticketed visitors on Sunday the total on site figure will be nearer to be 190k.

There isn't another UK circuit that could host F1 with the same capacity or even half the capacity so either Liberty Media need to compromise or not stage a British round. BRDC are probably in the best position to negotiate a better deal than any time in the past decade, the business model of making circuits pay to host event has in all likelihood reached the end of the road if European events are to the remain.

Remember Malaysia is gone after 18 due to costs, Singapore have publicly mooted not renewing post 17, COTA seem to annually mull exiting.