Silverstone plays cool as GP hopes re-lit

Silverstone is playing a cool hand amid its desire to win back Formula One. The Northamptonshire venue ostensibly held its final Formula One race in June, knowing that the Donington Park circuit had signed a contract to host the next 17 British...

Silverstone is playing a cool hand amid its desire to win back Formula One.

The Northamptonshire venue ostensibly held its final Formula One race in June, knowing that the Donington Park circuit had signed a contract to host the next 17 British Grands Prix.

But Donington is now in breach of contract, having failed to guarantee the funding for circuit renovations, sparking headlines that Bernie Ecclestone has issued a new two-week "deadline" to track boss Simon Gillett.

The F1 chief executive, however, baulked at the description of the situation as a "deadline", indicating that he has finally lost patience with Donington.

"We have informed him (Gillett) he is in breach of contract. The contract which we have gives him 14 days to remedy the breach. Most business contracts are like that," Ecclestone told the Daily Telegraph.

Ecclestone's stance, including his claim that he will be happy to adhere to Silverstone's desire for a new long time contract, paves the way for a patch-up with his counterparts at the track-owning British Racing Drivers' Club.

But Damon Hill, the BRDC president, is playing a cool hand, with insiders believing he is pushing for Ecclestone to substantially reduce his race promotion fees.

"We're ready to go," said the 1996 world champion, "but as yet we have not seen a contract which is a sustainable, affordable contract.

"We want to provide a really great venue for the fans but in order to do that we will need to have the kind of contract which provides enough scope to develop the facilities without too much risk to the company going bust," Hill added.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Damon Hill , Bernie Ecclestone