It's time to save Silverstone

When you see on Jenson Button's face how much it means to win the F1 title it's then you realise how much, in spite of all its flaws, F1 is still a sport.

Sure there are millions of dollars sloshing around but essentially it's motor racing and a test of a driver's abilities and guile against his peers.

So, when the merry-go-round once again focuses on the British Grand Prix and how it must justify its existence beyond doubt to Bernie Ecclestone you're left exasperated at how adept the sport is in shooting itself in the foot.

This year Silverstone sold out. Sure it was helped by the Button/Hamilton factor but compare that to other GPs such as Dubai where empty seats were conspicuous by their numbers. These new venues are falling over themselves to throw cash at Bernie but is it for the sport or just to promote their countries?

The contract offered to Silverstone is believed to be the same as the one it stalled on previously, allowing Donington a way in. The BRDC knows Ecclestone can get far more cash from the likes of Dubai and Singapore as BRDC chairman Damon Hill admits. So, why is the club wavering?

Well, the British GP doesn't get state money. Why not? Because UK Plc does not need the British GP to help tout its wares on the world stage. Let's face it - China, Dubai, Malaysia, etc all have domestic racing, but do they have it on a scale that Britain does? No, and that's the real issue.

There is so much more that the BRDC does for the sport in the UK than just host a GP every summer. Motor racing has a rich heritage in this country and it deserves a Grand Prix. Not because it can come up with huge sums of money but because it can put on a show for the fans, it can showcase the pinnacle of motorsport at the home of British motorsport where so much racing is held, and has been held, for so many years. It's for the fans, not Bernie.

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