Silverstone to move to avoid British GP clash with tennis final

Next year’s British Grand Prix is set to be moved, avoiding a direct clash with the Wimbledon men’s singles final and football’s Euro 2020 final at Wembley.

Lewis Hamilton celebrates with fans after winning the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

It is understood that two dates have been mooted by Formula One for the Silverstone race – the final weekend in June and the week following the conclusion of Wimbledon and the Euros.

The second of those options would put the grand prix head to head with golf’s Open Championship, which is being staged at Royal St George’s in 2020.

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Lewis Hamilton’s record drive to a sixth British victory on Sunday attracted a capacity 141,000-strong crowd to Silverstone but took a back seat to England’s dramatic Cricket World Cup win over New Zealand at Lord’s and Novak Djokovic’s five-set Wimbledon triumph against Roger Federer.

F1 owners Liberty Media are putting together the final touches to next year’s schedule, and it is believed a decision on Silverstone’s position in the calendar could be made this week.

But the complexities of cramming F1’s busy European summer season into the sport’s already hectic calendar is proving a headache for Liberty.

The Tour de France has been moved forward to start in Nice on 27 June, ensuring the French Grand Prix cannot take place on the same weekend. The uncertainty around Brexit has also added to F1’s problems.

Officials have been warned that in the months after the UK’s impending departure from the European Union, it could take as long as four days to transport the sport’s cargo from mainland Europe through Calais, and up to Northamptonshire.

As such, F1 wants to avoid penning Silverstone as a back-to-back fixture with any other race.

Ahead of his triumph at Silverstone, Hamilton called for the race to be a standalone date in the British sporting summer.

Silverstone’s managing director Stuart Pringle said: “Whilst Silverstone would prefer not to clash with the Wimbledon finals weekend, scheduling decisions are made by F1, not the circuit. The championship has an increasingly busy calendar and logistical challenges to accommodate, so it is never easy.”

Hamilton will head to the German Grand Prix a week on Sunday with a 39-point championship lead following his triumph at Silverstone.

His victory was played out against the backdrop of his ‘Britishness’ being called into question.

Rio Ferdinand, pictured, the former England and Manchester United captain, issued a lengthy social media post in defence of the Mercedes star, citing “racist undertones”.

“I can understand Rio’s opinion and he has the right to say that,” said Hamilton, the five-time world champion. “It is not an area that I particularly want to go down.

“Every day is an opportunity to elevate, to shine, and to do something new.

“My mum is white and my dad is black, so I have the best of both worlds.

“I have got supporters from all different ethnic backgrounds and I love that I am part of bringing people together that perhaps would not have been before.

“I am really proud of that, and I am just going to keep going.”