Hill calls for patience
BRDC president says Silverstone has to play waiting game
Last Updated: 03/11/09 4:49pm
Hill: Beyond our control
Damon Hill says Silverstone will have to remain patient if it is to secure the long-term future of the British Grand Prix.
"We would very much like to get something sorted as soon as possible, but clearly Bernie is not in a hurry, he can wait."
Damon Hill Quotes of the week
In his role as president of the British Racing Drivers' Club, which owns the Northamptonshire track, Hill was part of a delegation who travelled to last weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix hoping to strike a deal with Formula One's commercial rights controller Bernie Ecclestone.
The trip came after Donington Park, which had agreed a 17-year contract with Ecclestone to stage the race from next year, failed to secure the £135 million required for circuit upgrades.
Faced with a backdrop of Formula One's first twilight race held at the spectacular £800 million Yas Marina circuit, the talks proved fruitless. Even so, Hill refused to be downbeat and said the ball was at least rolling.
The 1996 World Champion said: "The groundwork has been done and it's best to see what evolves now.
"There was a lot of excitement when the opportunity came back and Bernie said he was prepared to discuss the situation.
"We did go over to Abu Dhabi to try and get a deal done, but the distraction of the weekend meant it was not the right time.
"I'm not despondent, though. What will be will be. I've pretty much always taken that view.
"So we'll let the dust settle and see what happens over the next week or so."
Silverstone cannot wait for too long, however, given that under normal circumstances they would have enjoyed over four months of ticket selling by now.
But Hill knows that Ecclestone will not be rushed and stressed the need for patience.
"It will be a shame if Bernie does let it drag on," he added.
"As a business Silverstone has kept itself primed and expecting to look to a renewal of its grand prix contract.
"It's geared up to run a grand prix, and the longer that goes on, the more damaging it is to that business without a contract.
"So we would very much like to get something sorted as soon as possible, but clearly Bernie is not in a hurry, he can wait.
"We can't force him. We just have to be patient because there are some things beyond your control, and this is probably beyond our control.
"All you can do is try your best and we'll see what unfolds.
"Bernie has controlled this (F1) for years, and nothing has changed there."