You might recall about a month ago I wrote a post praising The Inside Line podcast which is presented by Maurice Hamilton and Ian Phillips. When they called it The Inside Line, they weren’t joking.
The following week, in the French GP podcast, the pair were discussing the (at that time) new rumour that Donington was in the running to hold the British Grand Prix. While the news on Friday that the Grand Prix would be moving to Donington was described as “surprising”, “shocking” or “unbelievable” by many, I had an inkling that the announcement was coming.
When Ian Phillips was discussing the rumour on The Inside Line podcast the previous week, he pointed out that in his view it was very much a goer. If you want to look for it, it’s 28:30 into the French GP podcast. The thing about what Ian Phillips was saying was that it wasn’t just neutral or half-hearted. He sounded like a man who knew something and he seemed convinced that Donington was in with a decent shout of getting the gig.
As for the suggestions that Donington will not be ready in time for 2010, he had this to say: “Yes, it needs a lot of work — but so does Silverstone.” Moreover, Ian Phillips revealed that there is a faction within the BRDC that says they shouldn’t even bother trying to get a new deal with Bernie Ecclestone.
This is probably the key issue. In Bernie Ecclestone’s mind, Silverstone is simply not up to the standards that are expected of a modern F1 venue in 2008. And he has apparently found dealing with the BRDC an absolute nightmare, with the old gentleman’s club seemingly not able or willing to come up with the goods. Ian Phillips’s suggestion that some within the BRDC actively do not want to come up with the goods, you can well believe that. So why not start from scratch at Donington with people who might want to make it work?
The following week when I read BRDC President Damon Hill say that it was “50/50” whether the GP would go to Donington or Silverstone, I knew the story really had legs. The announcement didn’t just come out of the blue. A “surprise” it was not. I had a suspicion that it was coming, because I heard it on The Inside Line and from Damon Hill himself.
It’s a bit cheesy. I swear I’m not paid to do this. But I really think this is now an utterly unmissable podcast. So if you’re not already subscribed to it, do so now!
My thoughts on the proposed move to Donington will be the subject of a future post