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JANUARY 5, 2001

Stewart looking for government help for Silverstone

THREE-TIME Formula One World Champion Jackie Stewart is urging the British Government to offer financial assistance to turn Silverstone into the best Grand Prix circuit.

Silverstone will host the British Grand Prix until 2016 after Octagon, who hold the rights to host the event, opted to keep the race at the Northamptonshire circuit.

Stewart, president of the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC) who own Silverstone, wants the British Government to finance major improvements to the circuit and ensure that it remains central to the Formula One teams.

"British motor racing is now a well developed industry and should not be without a top international circuit," Stewart said.

"It employs around 60,000 people and I do not think that the government would want any further depreciation of the automotive industry.

"When we see that Toyota has chosen Germany as the base for its Formula One team, we have to ensure that we protect our industry. We can't risk Benetton, for example, being moved to France now that they have been purchased by Renault."