MAY 25, 2004
Compromise for the British GP
The British Racing Drivers' Club has confirmed that the British Grand Prix will remain at Silverstone for the next two years. A deal has been agreed between the club and Formula 1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone which will see an anonymous new promoter taking on the race on the same contractual terms as the other major European races. This is being done on the understanding that there will be significant long-term investment at Silverstone to raise the standard of the circuit and its facilities. The promoter is almost certainly Patrick McNally of Allsport Management, an organization which can afford to take a small loss on race promotion each year given the amounts of money if generates from the sport.
The deal however should probably not be seen as anything other than an interim settlement because if Ecclestone was happy with Silverstone a longer deal would have made a lot more sense. Ecclestone's deals traditionally are between five and seven years and this means that there is still potential for a British GP project in London. This will largely depend on whether or not London lands the 2012 Olympic Games. That decision will be taken by the International Olympic Committee in July 2005 and it is quite possible that if London loses the bid, it will turn to F1 as there would still be two years to get through the necessary paperwork and prepare a track on the roads of Hyde Park, by far the most likely venue.
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