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GP Week : Issue 70
BRDC President Damon Hill has told GPWeek that he remains optimistic that a deal can be worked out to keep the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. The 1996 F1 world champion however also said that he would not risk Silverstone's future should the costs for hosting the event prove to be too high. "I'm optimistic," he told GPWeek in Abu Dhabi. "I think something will be sorted out and I am very hopeful. But our position is very clear. Silverstone as a business simply cannot sign up to a contract which is in any way beyond the risk level which we feel comfortable with." Hill also stated that he was not expecting government help for hosting the race, and if such an occurance was to happen it was not his responsibility to organise a deal. "It's not our responsibility to provide a Grand Prix for the country. If Formula 1 is looking for a partner to put their case then I think we'd be absolutely delighted to put a case to government for Formula 1, but I think it's a difficult call because first of all the country has spent most of its money on bailing us out of the credit crisis so there's not a lot of money there, and when you stack up the issues that have a call on public money, then I think a lot of things come ahead in the queue before you get to going to a grand prix." It was a line that was expressed by Lord Mandelson, Britain's Trade and Industry Secretary. "I'm not in a position to use taxpayers' money to bail out what would be a sort of commercial venture in a very cash-rich sport," Mandelson told the BBC. "I can't do that, especially during a recession, but (Ecclestone) has my backing in what he's trying to do." Read the full Damon Hill Interview in "Five Minutes With..." on page 20. Hill Optimistic of Silverstone British GP BRIDGESTONE has shocked Formula 1 by quietly announcing that it will cease supplying tyres at the end of next year, when its current contract ends. The company slipped the news out hours ago on its own news website, with a brief statement that said, in part: "In addressing the impact of the continuing evolution of the business environment on its decision, the company focused on the need to redirect its resources towards the further intensive development of those innovative technologies and strategic products which support the company's goals and further enhance the company's reputation as a technology leader. "Bridgestone is committed to supporting F1 and the series' teams through the completion of the 2010 season. The company also expressed its sincere appreciation and gratitude to the management of Formula One, the F1 teams and support staff, and the F1 fans around the world for their enthusiasm and support for Bridgestone over the last 13 years." Bridgestone to pull out of F1 6