The British Grand Prix will stay at Silverstone until 2026, it has been announced, after the BRDC agreed terms with Bernie Ecclestone on a 17-year deal to keep Formula 1 at the self-styled home of British motorsport.
Both parties have agreed on a get-out clause which comes into effect after ten years.
The BRDC has confirmed that it intends to run the Formula 1 Grand Prix on a new circuit layout, initially designed for Silverstone’s hosting of MotoGP in 2010 (pictured above). Work will also begin after Christmas on a new pitlane and paddock, which the BRDC intends to complete in time for the 2011 Grand Prix.
“The FIA have been to see it, it has been submitted for homologation and we hope to be running on the ‘arena’ circuit next summer. If not we can run on the current circuit,” said Silverstone MD Richard Phillips.
BRDC President Damon Hill has long admitted that Silverstone had only been willing to hold onto the British Grand Prix on the right terms, but was clearly delighted to have ensured the survival of the British Grand Prix after Donington’s inept failures had called into question the very future of the event.
“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.”
It is understood that new FIA President Jean Todt was instrumental in pleading the case of maintaining the British Grand Prix to Ecclestone, and thus hope of a return for the French Grand Prix and the safety of F1’s traditional heartland in Europe in the future must be high.