Silverstone boss Stuart Pringle says plans for the two Formula 1 World Championship races to be held at the venue this summer are being made “on the hoof” – and he stresses that the events will look very different from the traditional British GP.
Silverstone agreed a commercial deal with the Formula 1 organisation last week, and both parties are currently working towards a pair of back to back behind-closed-doors events on July 26 and August 2, although the dates have yet to be officially confirmed.
“We’re still getting our head around it,” Pringle said in an interview with Sky F1. “There is work taking place, and it will do right up until the delivery.
“Let me stress again this is all entirely subject to the government giving it the green light, so that may be a reason why these [races] do not happen. However, if the situation evolves in line with the roadmap that the government unveiled at the beginning of the week, then it looks like it should be possible, and we are working with them and with all the relevant authorities to make sure that we can comply.
“F1 are looking to introduce a very rigorous and extensive testing regime to enable them to take their championship around the world. Yes, we have had to do quite a lot of planning on the hoof to see whether it’s possible. It will look very different to how we normally run an F1 event.
“I’m desperately sorry to our fans that they can’t be present and I hope that they will take some comfort from there being the British GP, and another one that as yet does not have a name. So that’s another piece of work we’ve got to do – to name the second race.”
Pringle acknowledged that there are still major challenges to be addressed involving travel, and not just arrangements for the three F1 teams based outside the UK to get to Silverstone.
He added: “It is about overseas teams coming to the UK, but it’s also about the UK teams going back and forth from their home bases. Yes, it’s going to be considerably easier for 70 percent of the teams to get to this race over other races, but there are still 30 percent who are not based in ‘motorsport valley’ here in Northamptonshire.
“So there do need to be robust solutions and solutions that need to meet not just the requirements of this country, but also other countries in the championship, because there won’t be a championship if the only place that F1 can run is Great Britain.
“There needs to be a holistic solution that works for the thing as a whole. I know there’s a huge amount of work going into that, I know there’s a lot of desire on everybody’s part to find a workable solution, and there is a little bit of time still. I have hopes that those solutions will be found.”
Pringle added that fans who bought tickets for the 2020 race and have switched their bookings to 2021 will have access to exclusive video content created in conjunction with Sky F1.