Rumors are circulating in England that Silverstone may lose the British Grand Prix to Brands Hatch if the complex changes ownership. A clause in Silverstone's contract with FOA states that if ownership changes, the track must renegotiate rights to the Grand Prix. It is an interesting clause to say the least as this gives Ecclestone a strong hand in "choosing" the next owner of Silverstone by signaling who will and who won't get a the Grand Prix. Therefore, prospective customers may want to test the waters with FOA before a viable bid is made since the track value would depreciate greatly if the British Grand Prix was no longer to be hosted there.
So, why the speculation regarding Brands Hatch? Well, the British press is reporting that Nicola Foulston who is head of the organization which owns Brands will place a bid for Silverstone and has the backing of Ecclestone. This is reportedly following a decision by The British Racing Drivers' Club, the current owners of Silverstone, to put the complex up for auction. The story is, if Foulston's bid is not accepted, the British Grand Prix will go to Brands. If all this is true, it pays to be backed by Mr. Ecclestone, doesn't it?
On the other side of the pond, the traditional champagne shower on the victory podium may have to be put on hold when the Formula One series returns to the United States in 2000 unless legislators in Indianapolis act quickly.
It seems there is a law in Indiana which says alcohol can only be sold on Sunday's at oval tracks more than two miles in circumference. The Speedway is 2.5 miles round and therefore is allowed to sell alcohol on Sunday's. But the problem is the F1 cars will be racing on a new road course constructed within and incorporating parts of the Brickyard oval.
So, Indianapolis officials have approached the state legislature asking that the law be changed to permit alcohol sales on Sunday at a facility with a "paved" surface more than two miles in "length", rather than oval and round.
The 13-turn F1 course will measure 2.53 miles in length when its completed.
Credit to John Marchesan of TSN and Ewan Tytler