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F1: will Silverstone stalemate cost Britain its grand prix?

The British Grand Prix is under serious threat of ending, according to the Daily Telegraph, because the British Racing Drivers’ Club is refusing to sign Bernie Ecclestone’s standard European contract.

Now this could be an instance of that paper’s customary Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire style of reporting, which would mean, roughly, that a lack of manliness and civic virtue on behalf of the BRDC was allowing the barbarian horde of Ecclestone to over-run it.


Or it could mean that the British Grand Prix is genuinely under threat. Perhaps you’d better give up on our strained metaphors and go straight to the source:

Silverstone approaches end of the F1 road

To quote Formula One commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone, negotiations over a new contract to host the British Grand Prix enjoy the status of “a dead duck”. The existing five-year deal ends next year. The renewal date has already passed. The contract presented to the BRDC by Ecclestone was the standard demand made of European promoters: $22 million (£11.2 million) a year, rising at a rate of five per cent per annum.

The BRDC sent it back unsigned, with a number of queries attached, along the lines of: ”Can we have a discount?” Ecclestone laughed the response out of his Knightsbridge office.

The end of history is nigh. As things stand, the 2009 British Grand Prix, a race that has run unbroken since the inception of the Formula One world championship at Silverstone in 1950, will be the last. Read full story here…


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