Silverstone gets British Grand PrixMon, 07 Dec 2009 00:00:00 -0800
Silverstone has won a 17 year deal to host the British Grand Prix
Now the farce that was the Donnington bid has been expunged, we’ve been waiting for confirmation that Bernie Ecclestone will take in to account more than just money and confirm that the British Grand Prix will survive. It seemed certain last week that a deal would happen, and the official announcement has come this morning that Silverstone has secured a 17 year deal to host F1.
The key to the deal seems to be the length of the agreement. Historically significant though Silverstone is, its facilities are outdated, certainly in comparison to some of the new ‘Super-Tracks’ which have sprung up in the last few years. But Silverstone offers more than just history, it offers one of the best drivers’ tracks in the world and it would have been foolish to lose it from the F1 Calendar.
With a long-term agreement now in place, the BRDC (British Racing Drivers Club) – which owns Silverstone – should find it much easier to raise the finance to redevelop the Northamptonshire circuit. But it’s not going to be cheap. Donnington failed to show it had £135 million in backing to secure its pitch for the deal, and Silverstone are going to have to invest something similar to fund the redevelopment.
But with the F1 deal secured, work will start on redeveloping the pitlanes and paddock, perhaps as soon as January. The British Grand Prix will be staged at the track on 11th July 2010 and Silverstone are paying £12 million for the privilege, a figure that will increase by 7% a year.
BRDC President – former world Champion Damon Hill – said:
“This announcement is tremendous news. It’s not easy to enter into an agreement of this magnitude. It’s a big commitment.
But the BRDC felt we wanted this relationship to continue, and we were prepared to back the negotiating team, with the level of risk satisfactory for the deal to go ahead.”
So it’s full steam ahead for Silverstone 2010.
By Cars UK