Alan Henry: British Grand Prix viewpoint

Ferrari sources have said unofficially that they will support the commercial arrangements agreed on Tuesday by the other nine formula one teams which should remove the last hurdle preventing the 2005 British grand prix from being confirmed on the...

Ferrari sources have said unofficially that they will support the commercial arrangements agreed on Tuesday by the other nine formula one teams which should remove the last hurdle preventing the 2005 British grand prix from being confirmed on the final world championship calendar which will be published by the FIA on December 10.

Although neither Ferrari's sporting director Jean Todt nor the team's technical director Ross Brawn were able to attend the teams' meeting in London, sources close to the Maranello-based squad have hinted that they will not stand in the way of the deal.

"The team has always said that if there was unanimous agreement over 19 races then it would support it," the source confirmed yesterday to the autosport.com website.

Meanwhile Bernie Ecclestone, the formula one commercial rights holder had a meeting (Wednesday) with Richard Caborn, the Minister for Sport, to discuss how the details for the race can now be finalised with the British Racing Drivers' Club, the owners of Silverstone.

It is understood that Ecclestone wants a one-year contract with the BRDC and a six-year option and there are suggestions that his Formula One Management company might promote and organise the race which is scheduled for 3 July 2005, thus relieving the club from any commercial risk.

"This deal is excellent news for not just the thousands of Formula One fans in the UK, but the motor sport industry that revolves around the Silverstone Grand Prix as well," said Caborn. "It now represents a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved in UK motor sport to further enhance the industry's reputation as a world leader.

"We are now determined through the partnership of the British Racing Drivers Club, local authorities and the Development Agencies to not just make the necessary circuit improvements but build the world's best high performance motor sport industry cluster too. With F1's many British based teams now remaining on these shores, we will have the continued supply of 40,000 jobs as well."

He added: "I particularly welcome Bernie Ecclestone's FOM organisation and all the F1 teams' decision to run the extra races that have allowed Silverstone onto the 2005 calendar and his decision to take on the promotion of the British Grand Prix next year.

"This has undoubtedly been a tough few months for everyone involved in negotiations. But I hope today's announcement presents a new chance for us all to work together to achieve what are our common goals - to see Formula 1 continue at Silverstone and the British motor sport industry to prosper in the world wide business market."

BRDC chief executive Alex Hooton said that there should be no problem to Silverstone agreeing a deal with Ecclestone - despite the previous doubts surrounding the future of the British race.

Hooten told BBC Sport: "While we've had contact with team principals since the meeting yesterday (Tuesday), and they have outlined to us a potential deal, we have not yet received anything in writing from FOM. And the devil is quite often in the detail with these sorts of transactions.

"However, it appears that the proposal will relate to a deal for the 2005 Grand Prix in a way that isolates the BRDC from the commercial risk of running the event.

"And if that is the case, it is a transaction that we will do our best to make happen because there seems to have been a real contribution from the teams towards creating this possibility and also a very positive reaction from Mr Ecclestone."

Editor's Note: Motorsport.com thanks Mr. Alan Henry for allowing us the opportunity to use the article that was posted November 10, 1004 in The Guardian under his byline.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Ross Brawn , Jean Todt , Bernie Ecclestone
Teams Ferrari