The survival of the British Grand Prix would appear to be looming as Silverstone bosses have announced that the Northamptonshire venue is close to signing a deal. Circuit owners have a fortnight on Wednesday in which to confirm a contract with Formula 1 commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone as signed and sealed.
With Wednesday 9 December highlighted as the date by which Silverstone must be ready to either accept or decline a deal, Richard Phillips is confident. “I don’t think there are any real stumbling blocks, we’re going through the last details of the deal.” the Managing Director of Silverstone Holdings explained to BBC Radio Northampton.
“I’m pretty convinced that it will be run at Silverstone next year. There is a lot of detail to go through, so if you make a mistake, there’s a long time to repent; you can come to high level agreements quickly but the devil is in the detail – we’re very, very close.”
With the now cash-strapped Donington Park having been granted a lease of 17 years due to start next season, Silverstone is unlikely to take on this although being host of the Grand Prix for the next decade is a definite target. “We certainly would like the contract to be for more than 10 years, that’s the minimum.” Phillips confirmed.
He added that Silverstone – despite knowing that Donington had won the rights to the event – has always been planning to host the race, should the Midlands circuit’s circumstances allow it. “We always had the faith that the Grand Prix would return.” he admitted. “We’ve been planning for more than a year – we’ll finish the track works in March and start on a new pits ready for 2011.”