17-year British GP deal for Silverstone

UPDATE (GMM) The operators and owners of the Silverstone circuit on Monday jointly revealed that an agreement to host the next 17 British grands prix has been reached.

The news was announced on Monday morning from London's Grosvenor House Hotel, following a long period of uncertainty about the oldest event in the modern world championship.

Part of the deal will be the redevelopment of the Northamptonshire facility's aging pit and paddock facilities.

"We've always had five year deals and never been able to get the investment we needed to redevelop," said managing director Richard Phillips.

"17 years gives us the ability to invest and move forward."

12/07/09 The British Grand Prix has been saved following a new deal agreed between Silverstone chiefs and Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

The news was confirmed today by Silverstone Circuits Limited, with the contract to run for the next 17 years.

It ensures the oldest race on the F1 calendar retains its place in motor sport history, with Silverstone able to step into the breach following Donington Park's failure to meet its obligations.

Silverstone managing director Richard Phillips said: "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 always had the belief the British Grand Prix was an important cornerstone of Formula One but, with Bernie, you're never quite sure.

"At the end of the day, though, you have to have a British Grand Prix.

"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."

Phillips described the deal as "peace in our time" between the circuit's owners, the British Racing Drivers Club, and Ecclestone.

"The relationship with Formula One Management has been improving," added Phillips.

"There's a good working relationship with him now and we don't have any issues." Sporting Life

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