James Lawton: Silverstone's challenge: how to provide a venue fit for human habitation

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The Independent Online

There are many who say that Formula One's circus master, Bernie Ecclestone, is operating on his own agenda when he undermines the historic role of Silverstone in motor sport - and threatens the life of the British Grand Prix.

The belief in some quarters is that national pride is considered a poor runner against the development of venues in parts of the world where the war against cigarette advertising is not so intense - and not such a threat to the financial health of the sport.

None of this, however, should cause us to forget that for so many years the old RAF station has been a prime example of the utter disregard in which the British sporting public is held. Save Silverstone, by all means, but Ecclestone is unchallengeable when he makes the case for serious investment.

There are two imperatives. One is to preserve a national home for the sport which has brought the country so much prestige. The other is to make it fit for large-scale human habitation.