British GP: F1 chief says Silvestone contract break wouldn't prejudice future prospects
Sean Bratches tells Sky Sports that F1's owners wouldn't hold a contract break by Silverstone against them in any future talks
By James Galloway and Sky Sports News HQ's Craig Slater
Last Updated: 12/07/17 5:19pm
Silverstone's anticipated decision to activate their British GP break clause will not prejudice their future F1 prospects, the sport's commercial boss Sean Bratches has insisted.
With just a week to go until the 2017 British race takes place, Silverstone's owners have until Wednesday to inform F1 chiefs whether they to want to end the current contract after the 2019 event.
Discussions between the British Racing Drivers' Club, Silverstone's owners, and F1's new management have been ongoing for a number of months with the circuit looking for ways to make the race more affordable.
But the growing expectation is that Silverstone, locked into a five per cent fee escalator under the current 17-year deal signed in late 2009, will activate the break clause in the hope of negotiating a more viable deal before 2020.
However, Bratches, who succeeded Bernie Ecclestone as the man in charge of overseeing F1's commercial activities in January, says such a move would not place a 'black mark' against Silverstone ahead of future negotiations.
"Not at all," Bratches told Sky Sports News HQ.
"We've had ongoing conversations with our friends at Silverstone and from our perspective, this is all about the fan. We don't want to do anything that would prejudice the fan.
"We're very fan-focused, so the answer is no."
Silverstone is next week set to welcome another bumper crowd across what has been extended to a four-day weekend of racing activities, with over 130,000 fans attending last year's F1 race day.
Since taking control of F1's commercial rights in January, Liberty Media has spoken of its intention to keep the British GP, and other historic European races, on the calendar.
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