Silverstone in the same category as Wimbledon – Sean Bratches
Formula 1's commercial managing director, Sean Bratches, believes the British Grand Prix at Silverstone ranks amongst some of the greatest sporting events, such as Wimbledon and the Masters, and therefore losing it would have tarnished F1.
Silverstone was on the brink of losing the British GP, but on Wednesday a new deal was confirmed, keeping it on the calendar until at least 2024.
Bratches reckons the event – the very first championship race – ranks amongst the very best and said it was important to preserve the sport's heritage.
"Silverstone sits in the pantheon of Formula 1 as one of the great races. In golf you have events like the Masters or the British Open, in tennis you have Wimbledon, and Silverstone is a race that falls into that category.
"It has incredible heritage in Formula 1 and we definitely wanted to preserve that. And I think its Silverstone’s status among the great venues that enriches the Grand Prix calendar. It resonates with fans, it’s enormously popular with teams and drivers and it showcases our sport in its best light."
Historic events have been under threat as of late with up and coming venues such as Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Baku and Vietnam seemingly taking priority, with Spain, Germany, Monza and Mexico under threat, but Bratches insists there is a desire to retain the classic venues whilst introducing "exciting" new venues as well.
"I think one of the things we have always been cognisant of is that Formula 1 is a sport that deeply cherishes its heritage and that it is important for us to safeguard that as much as is possible.
"Over the past two years we’ve reached agreements with many of the great, historic venues in our sport. We have reached agreements with Spa and with Suzuka, we have a long-term agreement in place with Monaco, and we are engaged in a very constructive dialogue with Monza at the moment."
He added: "It’s exciting to bring new venues to the table and it’s always good to have people and places that want to sit at our table. We have a number of parties vying to bring Formula 1 to their territories and we are exploring multiple opportunities in that regard. That kind of dynamism is good for the sport and good for fans."