posted on Apr, 22 2004 @ 03:36 PM
Formula One chief
Bernie Ecclestone said more money needs to be spent on British Grand Prix circuit Silverstone. Interpublic sold the race rights back to the F1 boss
who wants improvements if the British GP is to continue. Ecclestone has often made similar threats in the past, but he is now in a position of
strength after advertising group Interpublic yesterday gave up their rights to stage the race.
Interpublic owned the rights until 2015, but have chosen to return them to Ecclestone's Formula One Administration company for 52million, cutting
their losses as their projected costs for promoting the event for the next 11 years were 250million.It means Ecclestone, a long-time critic of the
Northamptonshire track, can now push for the changes he has often demanded from circuit owners, the British Racing Drivers' Club - or else the axe
will fall.Although 60million has already been spent on improvements, primarily on access roads and car parks and with 20million of that figure from
Ecclestone's own pocket, the track facilities are in desperate need of modernisation.New circuits in Malaysia, Bahrain and China are setting standards
the older tracks like Silverstone need to emulate if they are not to fall by the wayside as other countries such as Russia, India and Turkey are eager
to join the Formula One bandwagon.Ecclestone is not sounding the death knell for Silverstone just yet, but his words are clear and categoric shape up
or be shipped out.