British Grand Prix deal agreed

Finally, after months of uncertainty, it seems the future of the British Grand Prix has been secured. The British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC), owners of the Silverstone circuit, and Bernie Ecclestone sealed the deal on December 9th, the day of the deadline Ecclestone had given. Details are not yet known but a contract has apparently been agreed for five years.

Welcome to Silverstone.
Photo by Honda F1 Press Office.

UK Sports Minister Richard Caborn said: "This is a great day for the future of the motor industry in the UK. We have been working with the EMDA (East Midlands Development Agency) and the local authority to develop this industrial cluster at Silverstone."

"This should not only secure the long-term future of the all the teams operating out of the UK but will give the opportunity for others to join. This is consistent with the Government's policy of developing world-beating centres of excellence for manufacturing."

Next year's calendar is due to be finalised by the FIA in Monte Carlo on Friday and an official announcement about the British GP is also expected. France and Imola, the other two races that were provisional for 2005, will also go ahead, according to Ecclestone.

"Those events will be on the calendar," he told Bloomberg in regard to Magny Cours, San Marino and Silverstone. "I'd have liked not to have gone through all this nonsense to get there, but that's how it is."

Silverstone is currently scheduled for July 3rd but may be moved back a week to the 10th, so as not to clash with the Wimbledon tennis tournament. France might take the date of the 3rd instead.