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British GP set to be moved to avoid Euro 2020, Wimbledon clashes

British GP set to be moved to avoid Euro 2020, Wimbledon clashes
© Reuters
PA understands two alternative dates have been looked at.

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.

PA understands 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.

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 June 27, ensuring the French Grand Prix cannot take place on the same weekend. The uncertainty around Brexit has also added to F1's problems.

Britain's impending exit from the European Union could create logistical problems for the 2020 Formula One calendar
Britain's impending exit from the European Union could create logistical problems for the 2020 Formula One calendar (Jonathan Brady/PA)

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 told PA: "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.

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Lewis Hamilton facing jibes over his Britishness !!! When he lifts the titles he is reported very British...but on the way to winning, throughout the year his patriotism is questioned. Why??? The usual questions are "but you live in Monaco....your accent isn't totally British...your lifestyle travelling and fashion choices...." Firstly, most F1 drivers live in Monaco including the likes of our other former world champion Jenson Button. Was Jenson's britishness ever questioned for living in Monaco?? Not a chance. I will tell you why – because he looked similar, sounded similar, dressed similar & walked similar to the people who raise these questions of Hamilton. The level of disrespect & racist undertones in questioning Hamilton's Patriotism should not be underestimated. He prepares diligently (Five world titles tells you that), has a working formula that works for him in his down time & after proving time and time again that his preparation for racing is perfect for him, even if it means flying in from LA where he was out and about then so be it. Do I like all of the clothes Lewis Hamilton wears, the hairstyles, his music choices etc...maybe not but do I question his Britishness?? No, of course not because he is embracing young culture and experimenting like everyone does in his own way and we should be saying good luck to him I say. If all these interests outside F1 were hindering his performances then I would get the questions on his lifestyle but he is breaking records and could well win his sixth world title this year! If you can enjoy your life doing things YOUR WAY, AND WIN, then you are really really winning in life as a British sportsman – but don't forget to talk very British, dress very British, and most importantly live in the UK otherwise there will be questions on your patriotism! We should all celebrate a champion who is One Of Our Own! @lewishamilton #F1

A post shared by Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) on

Hamilton's victory was played out against the backdrop of his 'Britishness' being called into question.

Rio Ferdinand, 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."

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