Bernie Ecclestone has changed his mind on the future of the British Grand Prix yet again.
To recap, he started the year saying there was no way the 2010 race would be held anywhere other then Donington Park. He later suggested in an interview with The Times that this wasn’t the case, and then took those words back.
Then over the British Grand Prix weekend he warmed to the idea of keeping the race at Silverstone. And today he’s told the Independent he thinks the race should be held at both tracks, rotating from one year to the next:
If they don’t do it, Donington will get together with Silverstone.
I think this is a fine idea in principle: they’re both great tracks and it would ensure the British Grand Prix will remain on the calendar. As Andrew Tsvyk’s article on this site today points out, the race has rotated between Silverstone and other venues in the past.
But we have to be realistic and admit this approach has not worked very well of late.
The German Grand Prix was supposed to rotate between the Nurburgring and the Hockenheimring, but the ltter has now said it cannot afford to hold a race next year.
Fuji Speedway and Suzuka are also supposed to be sharing the Japanese Grand Prix. But Fuji’s owners Toyota have recently decided the track will not continue to hold F1 races.
Rotating tracks should in theory allow tracks to spread out the mmoth costs of holding a Grand Prix over a longer amount of time, but for whatever reason that doesn’t seem to work in practice.
Already a month has passed since the last British Grand Prix – a month which in previous years would have seen tickets going on sale. Time is already running out, and it seems to me the decision Ecclestone should be taking at the moment is which circuit is bet placed to hold a race in 2010, and take care of subsequent years after that.