Bernie Ecclestone has finally agreed a deal with Silverstone Circuits Limited, which will see Silverstone host the British Grand Prix for the next 17 years.
The future of the British Grand Prix had been in serious doubt after Ecclestone had previously admitted that a deal could not be reached with Silverstone earlier this year. Donnington then looked set to become the new home of the British GP, but they ran into financial trouble which led to another rethink from the most powerful man in F1.
Damon Hill, the president of the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) which owns the Silverstone circuit, was delighted at the deal – “The title of Silverstone as home of motor sport has come true. It is a place for all motor sport. Everyone in the BRDC loves motor sport and we are looking forward to the MotoGP as well as the British Grand Prix. We’re also looking forward to the bike grand prix [Moto GP], on top of the British Grand Prix.”
Silverstone’s managing director Richard Phillips stressed the importance of a lengthy contract like the one secured by Silverston to host the next 17 British GPs- “We’ve always had five-year deals and never been able to get the investment we needed to redevelop. But 17 years gives us the ability to invest and move forward.”
“We’ve now got to sell a lot of tickets, to get out there and do similar sorts of numbers as we did this year when we had 230,000 people there over the three days, and promote the event” added Phillips.