Is it the end of the road for Silverstone? The renewal date for their new contract has already passed, and according to Ecclestone, negotiations over the contract to host the British Grand Prix have the status of a ‘dead duck’.
Ecclestone is believed to have sent a contract to the BRDC with the standard demand of European promoters – that is $22 million (£11.2 million) a year, rising by five per cent each year. The BRDC chose not to sign the document and to send it back to Ecclestone with a number of queries, mostly surrounding whether the financial demands could be lowered, something which Ecclestone will not consider.
So, with little hope of a contract renewal, it looks like the 2009 British Grand Prix will be the last.
Of course some are hoping for a reprieve after all, the circuit has been in this situation before. During the last contract negotiations in 2004, Ecclestone looked set to remove the British Grand Prix from the F1 calendar, only to relent at the last moment when the BRDC promised to improve the circuit and it s facilities.
Now, the planning authorities have given their approval for a new pitlane and paddock complex however it is dependent on the retention of the Grand Prix. Despite this, Ecclestone appears to have made his decision over Silverstone.
“I suppose they could come back to me,â€ Ecclestone said to British newspaper the Daily Telegraph. “They could get the building done in six months but I would not put money on it. The BRDC know the terms. If they meet them, then we are in business, but at the moment they can t and therefore there is no race in 2010.â€
With numerous other countries clamouring to host an F1 race and willing to meet the financial demands of Ecclestone without question, it appears that this may be the end of the road for the historic British Grand Prix.