• British GP

British GP decision set to be announced

ESPNF1 Staff
December 5, 2009 « Renault considering rival bids for team | »
Silverstone wants the British Grand Prix back in 2010 © Sutton Images

Speculation that the British Grand Prix will return to Silverstone has reached new heights after the circuit's owners, the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC), announced it will hold a press conference on the subject on Monday.

There are no details of what the BRDC president Damon Hill and Silverstone managing director Richard Phillips will say at the event, but the circuit and F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone have both hinted that a deal is close.

Silverstone has been in talks with Ecclestone since plans to hold the race at Donington showed signs of fragility earlier this year. However, a deal has been a long time coming and disagreements over the financial terms appear to have been the main sticking points.

It was speculated that Ecclestone was asking £12 million from Silverstone to host the race with a 7% escalator fee year-on-year. He insisted that the British Grand Prix would not qualify for a cut-price deal, similar to those signed with Monaco and Monza, and would have to pay the going rate. But the BRDC has always maintained it would not enter into a deal that put the circuit in long-term financial peril and said it could not afford to compete on price with government-backed projects in the Far and Middle East.

Ecclestone has also raised issues with the circuit's infrastructure, claiming it falls short of many of the modern circuits on the Formula One calendar. Silverstone has expressed its desire to build a new paddock and pit complex to meet his expectations, but insists it can only do so if a long-term contract to host the grand prix is in place.

A decision must be reached by December 11 when the FIA World Council will meet to finalise the 2010 calendar.