Belfast Telegraph

British GP is set to move date to avoid clash with other big events


On top: Lewis Hamilton after his record sixth British GP win
On top: Lewis Hamilton after his record sixth British GP win

By Philip Duncan

Next year's British Grand Prix is set to be moved, avoiding a direct clash with the Wimbledon men's singles final and football's Euro 2020 final at Wembley.

It is understood that two dates have been mooted by Formula One for the Silverstone race - the final weekend in June and the week following the conclusion of Wimbledon and the Euros.

The second of those options would put the grand prix head-to-head with golf's Open Championship, which is being staged at Royal St George's in 2020.

Lewis Hamilton's record drive to a sixth British GP victory on Sunday attracted a capacity 141,000-strong crowd to Silverstone but took a back seat to England's dramatic Cricket World Cup win over New Zealand at Lord's and Novak Djokovic's five-set Wimbledon triumph against Roger Federer.

It is believed a decision on Silverstone's position in the calendar could be made this week. But the complexities of cramming F1's busy European summer season into the sport's already hectic calendar is proving a headache for owners Liberty Media.

The Tour de France has been moved forward to start in Nice on June 27, ensuring the French Grand Prix cannot take place on the same weekend. The uncertainty around Brexit has also added to F1's problems.

Officials have been warned that in the months after the UK's impending departure from the European Union it could take as long as four days to transport the sport's cargo from mainland Europe through Calais, and up to Northamptonshire.

As such, F1 wants to avoid penning Silverstone as a back-to-back fixture with any other race.

Ahead of his triumph at Silverstone, Hamilton called for the race to be a standalone date in the British sporting summer.

Silverstone's managing director Stuart Pringle said: "Whilst Silverstone would prefer not to clash with the Wimbledon finals weekend, scheduling decisions are made by F1, not the circuit. The Championship has a busy calendar and logistical challenges to accommodate, so it is never easy."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph