• British GP

Ecclestone gave Silverstone cut-price deal

ESPNF1 Staff
December 8, 2009 « Silverstone hoping to run grand prix on new layout | »
Bernie Ecclestone has made a cut price deal with Silverstone © Sutton Images
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Bernie Ecclestone has revealed he agreed to a significantly cheaper deal for Silverstone than he has with other circuits around the world.

Ecclestone negotiates race deals on behalf of Formula One Management (FOM) and appeared to have reached a sticking point over price in negotiations with Silverstone earlier this year. However, he has now revealed that he made concessions to circuit owners the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) after becoming "fed up" with the drawn-out talks. Going against his recent comments that he would not offer special terms to Silverstone like he has to Monza and Monaco.

When asked by The Daily Telegraph if he could have struck a more lucrative deal elsewhere he said: "Definitely, a lot more, an awful lot more. There are other places desperate for races but there was no more money in Europe. I got fed up with the whingeing and moaning."

Ecclestone claimed the circuit now stands to make big profits but insisted his decision to cut the price was not an emotional one.

"It has taken too long, but now Silverstone can get on with it for years to come and make a fortune. I didn't have any special sentiment because it was Britain, but if people think I helped then that's nice."

The Times reports that the deal is worth £310 million overall, working out at £12 million for 2010 with 5% increments year-on-year - as opposed to the a 7% increase in the original deal. A ten-year break clause is also in the contract.

Last year the circuit made a profit of just £662,000 but BRDC president Damon Hill has remained adamant throughout the negotiations that he would not sign a deal that could bankrupt the venue. News that Silverstone is hoping to run a new 'Arena' layout for 2010 means the circuit could increase its capacity, increasing revenue from ticket sales.

However, there are still concerns that ticket prices may become too high for many motorsport fans as Silverstone looks to pay for the 5% yearly increase. Current ticket prices range between £117 and £319.20 for three days.