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Warwick calls for government backing

ESPN Staff
January 20, 2013 « Alonso calls for fewer races and more tests | Glock poised to leave Marussia »
Silverstone only managed to keep its place on the calendar after heavily redeveloping its facilities © Sutton Images
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British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) president Derek Warwick has called for government funding for motorsport in the United Kingdom.

The BRDC-owned Silverstone circuit almost lost its place on the Formula One calendar in 2008 as it couldn't afford to redevelop its facilities. The British Grand Prix now has a 17-year contract at Silverstone as the security of the long-term contract allowed the BRDC to build a new pit and paddock complex.

However, with Silverstone competing against government-backed races in the likes of China and Bahrain,Warwick believes both the British Grand Prix and young drivers should receive government backing especially in the face of funding given to Olympic athletes.

"With Bernie Ecclestone you can never be sure about anything, but we do have a 17-year contract so are pretty secure for another 14 years," Warwick told Sky Sports. "But I have to say our business is pretty marginal, we don't make a lot of money - in fact we will lose money in 2012 - so it galls me a bit when I see the amount of lottery and government funding there is in our Great British athletes.

"Rowers get £27,000 each but our young drivers and Silverstone get no money at all from the lottery or the government and it is about time the government and the lottery fund stop viewing motor racing [people] as all multi-millionaires.

"Yes, there are a lot of people in F1 that are very wealthy, but our young drivers need help - they need help from the government and they need help from the lottery, as does Silverstone. We are struggling, we are really struggling and we could do with some help."