This morning the owners of Silverstone – the BRDC – confirmed that they have reached agreement with Bernie Ecclestone regarding the future of the British Grand Prix. After months of negotiations, the Northamptonshire circuit will host the race for the next 17 years, taking over the deal that had initially been signed by Donington Park. The BRDC also spoke of the improvements due to be made to the circuit and facilities, scheduled to begin soon.
In 2008, Bernie Ecclestone sensationally announced that Donington Park had signed a deal which would see the Leicestershire circuit host the British Grand Prix from 2010. However, funding issues and disputes got in the way and after Ecclestone had extended deadlines various times, the deal was called off. Silverstone then set about negotiating with Ecclestone to reclaim the event, which was finally announced this morning.
The title of Silverstone as home of motorsport has come true. It is a place for all motorsport. Everyone in the BRDC loves motorsport and we are looking forward to the MotoGP as well as the British Grand Prix.
It is not easy to enter into a contract of this magnitude and you have to take on a lot of responsibility, but the BRDC wanted this relationship to continue.
Everyone was well aware that the British GP is not just a sporting event, but it is dynamo of the industry in this country. Losing it would have been damaging and perhaps there would have been no coming back. Damon Hill.
The news means that Formula One will continue to have a British event and will undoubtedly come as good news to British fans. The majority of teams on the grid are based in Britain and the nation has long been involved with the sport, and currently enjoying great success with both Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.
Although the deal is for 17 years, taking on what had been offered to Donington Park, there is a clause in the contract to break the deal after 10 years, although Silverstone’s managing director Richard Phillips said this is not what he wants to happen. Phillips and Hill also spoke more of the planned schedule of works due to be carried out, starting after Christmas.
Even this year with the new circuit we are trying to get better access for public, changing granstands for better viewing and running our own campsites to be better than the current ones.
We want to increase the entertainment factor. Richard Phillips.
Interestingly, Bernie Ecclestone has changed his tone considerably. Previously, Ecclestone had been quite anti-Silverstone, stating that even if the Donington deal fell through, Formula One would not return to the old airbase. However, this morning Bernie had nothing but good things to say, stating he is pleased Britain will continue to feature in the world championship.
I am pleased that we have reached an agreement with Silverstone for the retention of the British Grand Prix. This will ensure that Great Britain will remain on the Formula 1 calendar for many years to come, which is something I have personally always wanted to see happen.
The team at Silverstone already knows how to organise a good event, so now everyone can look forward to next summer at Silverstone. Bernie Ecclestone.
With Woking-based McLaren fielding both British champions on the 2010 grid, the race should draw huge crowds, although the new facilities and circuit will not be ready until 2011. The circuit will also host a round of the MotoGP championship.
I wonder what is so significant about the 17 year deal. It seems like an odd number to choose – quite apart from the fact that it’s a crazy amount of time.
Lots of things, although presumably and specifically, a 17 year deal. 🙂
There doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to circuit/grand prix deals. I recently added the info to AerialF1 and for some tracks, their deals expire in 2015, but others are 2016, 2011… I originally assumed Ecclestone was timing many of the tracks to expire at the same time so if he wanted to overhaul the championship, he could with relative ease. This doesn’t seem to be the case though. To be honest, I just don’t get it.
But I’m not going to complain about a 17 year deal (with a clause at year 10). Ten years of British Grands Prix at minimum (pinch of salt taken) is great considering everything that has happened in the past 18 months.
This is excellent news, perhaps we can finally move on now from the embarrassment of the Annual Last Ever British Grand Prix and the BRDC can focus their efforts on improving the facilities.
I was wondering, did they pay for MotoGP and do they make money from it? If they do make money, which is entirely possible, perhaps that could be channelled into further upgrades?
I wonder if anyone has had the heart to break the news to Simon Gillett yet? Poor solider will be mightily disappointed after months of living in Cloud Cuckoo Land.
What is known of the plans for improvement at Silverstone? I have heard of plans to redo the pits or pit buildings but what about the layout of the track itself? Once a track that separated the boys from the men, but in recent years the complex of corners prior to the pit entrance has made the rhythm of a lap now a mess. I am curious about the racing circuit…who knows what is planned and how can I see what it looks like??
The ease with which Bernie has now given in leads me to beleive this was his plan all along. He is too Machiavellian to just simply capitulate.
See, my theory is thus:
1. Donington Park’s owners got Bernie to agree a deal to generate loads of press.
2. Donington Park then get investment and loans easily.
3. Donington Park goes about its developments.
4. Late in the Bernie says they’re no good.
5. British GP goes back to Silverstone. Donington has profited from the whole thing and Bernie has cashed a few bob along the way.
Of course, that’s what should have happened, had the whole recession thing not come along and spoiled things.
It’s a cynical view perhaps, but nothing really surprises me any more.
Autosport had a map up, but I wasn’t too sure if it was of the re-profiled F1 track or just the MotoGP layout or what – Silverstone chiefs are apparently undecided. If anything concrete shows up though, I’ll be sure to publish.
There were a few computer generated images well over a year ago about the pit and paddock revamp, but nothing much about the circuit other than what Autosport reported.
I too am a cynic, and I fervently believe Bernie always wanted a British Grand Prix, would have always ensured there would be a British Grand Prix, but wanted the BRDC to feel some heat, gain some publicity for himself and the event, scare some folk and pocket a few quid along the way.
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