May 5 (GMM) Two central figures have played down reports that contractual protections could safeguard Britain's traditional spot on the formula one calendar.
It emerged this week that not only are key European events singled out for protection by the FIA, the same special status for the races is mentioned in F1's separate commercial arrangements.But Damon Hill, president of the Silverstone-owning British Racing Drivers' Club, said the potential demise of Donington's 2010 contract would not mean the automatic reversion to another British venue.Referring to the protection clauses for key races including the British grand prix, he said: "It's always been a statement of intention rather than a solid agreement."The trouble is, there is no way of enforcing it," Hill told the Daily Telegraph.FIA president Max Mosley agrees that while some races do have protected status, F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone is not stringently bound to maintaining those events."The FIA's deal with Bernie means he cannot present a calendar without the traditional grands prix," he told The Guardian."However it is not our role to insist that a grand prix takes place in a sub- standard venue."Just like people who want the World Cup or the Olympic Games have to pay the going rate, what we cannot do is to force Bernie to race below the going rate," said Mosley.