BRDC President Damon Hill and Silvestone Managing Director Richard Phillips announce the new deal
Following months of negotiations and uncertainty, the British Racing Drivers Club has signed a deal with the FIA and Formula One Management to keep the British Grand Prix at Silverstone for the next seventeen years, starting with next year's race.
The deal is struck for the same amount of time (with a cancellation clause after ten years) that rival circuit Donington Park had signed with Bernie Ecclestone. That deal fell through, however, and Donington has gone into bankruptcy. In order to meet Formula One's demands, Silverstone – which first hosted the event in 1948 and has hosted it every year since 1987 – will undertake a massive renovation project.
Included in the plans are new grandstands, a new paddock area with new pits, and a potential switch to a new track layout. The Arena circuit was carved out of sections of the existing grand prix circuit for use by MotoGP, which will also be racing at Silverstone in the coming year. By containing it within the main area, the Arena circuit offers spectators a better view of the action, and the BRDC (headed by 1996 World Champion Damon Hill) has submitted the layout for FIA approval. Press release after the jump.
Silverstone and the BRDC announce 17 year Formula 1 British Grand Prix deal
Silverstone and the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) are pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached to secure the long term future of the FIA FORMULA 1 BRITISH GRAND PRIX. The 17 year deal will see the UK's most prestigious motor sport event remain at the Home of British Motor Racing in Northamptonshire.
Speaking on Monday (07 December) FOM President Bernie Ecclestone, said: "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 One 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."
Damon Hill, President of the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC), owners of Silverstone Circuit, said: "We are delighted that the long term future of the British Grand Prix has been secured and that Formula 1 will be remaining at Silverstone, its natural home in Great Britain, for at least the next 17 years. This long term contract will enable us to continue with our plans to develop Silverstone into a world class facility, bringing the venue into line with the very best sports facilities in the world for the benefit of all race goers, teams, drivers and fans.
"On a personal note, I would like to thank the team at Silverstone, our board of the BRDC, the membership of the BRDC and those in the industry who have been unwavering in their support."
"We have now secured the blue riband events in both two and four wheeled World Championships, and are looking forward to an exciting future."
Tickets for the 2010 FORMULA 1 BRITISH GRAND PRIX are now on sale exclusively via Silverstone. Tickets can be booked 24 hours a day, seven days a week at www.silverstone.co.uk, or by calling 0844 3728 300*.