Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle has hailed Liberty Media’s attitude towards promoters, after stating that Formula 1’s leadership under Bernie Ecclestone “crushed” them.
At Autosport International, Pringle sat down to speak about the British Grand Prix and the ever-increasing interest in F1 and how, as a promoter, they have to capitalise on that popularity.
“It’s such a commitment, the British Grand Prix,” he said. “The fee is eyewatering, the cost of delivery keeps you awake at night and the fixed cost base is extraordinarily high as a result.
“It’s a given to sell out Sunday. We got to selling out Saturday a few years ago and now Friday is all but gone as well and that’s where your profit is.”
Silverstone has invested into its facilities in recent years, after a lack of profit while F1 was under the ownership of Bernie Ecclestone made it difficult to do so.
“And if you don’t make a profit – Mr Ecclestone – you cannot reinvest in infrastructure,” Pringle continued.
He hailed the mentality change towards promoters since Liberty Media took over F1, which allows the British Racing Drivers’ Club to invest all the profits back into the circuit and its facilities.
“It’s creaking and groaning Silverstone because the BRDC was unable to make a profit out of the Grand Prix for 40 years.
“I’m pleased to say that the owners of F1 take a sensible view that it is not in their interests to crush the promoter and they recognise that the BRDC invests all of its money back into the facilities.
“If we put in better facilities, we get a better experience for the fans. If we get a better experience for the fans, it’s better for the championship all round and everyone is a winner.
“I’m really enjoying working with F1 at the moment. They’re enlightened, they’re challenging us they’re doing amazing things.”
Some of the newly added facilities include several accommodation locations, as well as the Silverstone Museum.
The promoter also looks at America to learn how to make the sport even more entertaining.
“There’s a lot to learn from what they do over there and it’s working, because people are coming and enjoying themselves.”