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GP Week : Issue 46
> F1NEWS> New twist in British GP tale? THE future of the British Grand Prix took a further twist last weekend, as the British Racing Drivers’Club, owners of the Silverstone race circuit, has reportedly asked its members to approve sale of the track to Formula 1 Commercial Rights Holder Bernie Ecclestone. The letter, from BRDC Chairman Robert Brookes to the club’s membership, was leaked to the Guardian newspaper in Britain as the future of the British Grand Prix hangs in the balance following financial problems at Donington Park, the track to which the British Grand Prix is intended to move in 2010. It has long been known that the ownership of Silverstone by the BRDC, and the difficulties that Ecclestone has had in dealing with the Club, have played a large role in convincing Ecclestone to take the British Grand Prix elsewhere. It is also thought that Brookes’ handling of the situation has not gone down well with BRDC membership. The BRDC, however, still ultimately views Silverstone as their track and any previous rumours of a sale to Ecclestone have been vehemently downplayed. However, with Donington struggling for time and money to get the 2010 British Grand Prix on track, and with Ecclestone emerging as an unlikely but wealthy saviour of the race at Silverstone, the BRDC may have to let go of the jewel in its crown if it wishes to ensure the circuit’s long term survival. GP2 Asia to drop Asian drivers GP2 Series Organiser Bruno Michel has told GPWeek that he may consider dropping the insistence of an Asian driver per team in the GP2 Asia Series for the championship’s next season. The GP2 Asia Series came into being in 2008 and was intended to be a means by which Asian drivers could gain access to the wider motorsport world. To that end, only teams that run at least one driver from Asia are eligible to win prize funds. However, with the GP2 Asia Series, which uses the 2005-2007 version of the GP2 car and a slightly detuned engine, coming to play more of a role as a preparation for GP2 rookies to get used to the level of competition in the main championship, Michel has admitted the time might have come to reassess the requirement of an Asian driver in every team. “In the beginning we thought it would be key to bringing Asian drivers into the F1 environment. We have seen that it is quite difficult to find drivers with the kind of performance level that we’re expecting and also the kind of budget that Asia was expecting and at the end of the day GP2 Asia has been and is a fantastic platform for training drivers to be immediately competitive in the GP2 main series. “There’s been a shift and if this shift is being confirmed then in that case we might drop the rule of having one Asian driver within each of the teams.” 11