Ecclestone ordered Silverstone pitlane switch

By on Saturday, July 9, 2011

Jul.9 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone has refused to criticise Silverstone after an apparently major design flaw with the venue's new facilities emerged on Friday.

Many spectators sitting opposite the pits cannot see the podium, and they will also miss the pitstops of top teams including Red Bull and McLaren because some of the garages are situated lower than the pitwall.

"It probably isn't great for the spectators as they are not going to see many Red Bull or McLaren pitstops this weekend," said Christian Horner.

It emerges that Silverstone wanted the three newest teams to occupy the subterranean end of the pitlane, but that F1 chief executive Ecclestone ordered the switch so that the grandee teams could be easily seen by Paddock Club guests.

"It's not ideal," the 80-year-old admitted, "but I can't keep complaining about the place. They have made a lot of improvements."

Track boss Richard Phillips said the situation should be better in the future.

"Christian (Horner) is complaining to the wrong people. FOM (Formula One Management) switched the garages to keep the Paddock Club happy.

"The plan is to replace the temporary grandstands with permanent buildings that have a steeper rake and will have a better view," he added.

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