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Last Updated: Sunday, 24 October, 2004, 10:30 GMT 11:30 UK
Team deal could help British GP
Rubens Barrichello takes his Ferrari round Silverstone at the British GP
All of Formula One's 10 teams, with the exception of Ferrari, have signed up to a cost-cutting scheme which could save the threatened British Grand Prix.

The teams agreed to measures which will save money, improve F1's spectacle and allow a 19-race calendar in 2005.

Meanwhile, Alex Hooton, chief executive of Silverstone owner the British Racing Drivers' Club, said talks over the future of the British GP had restarted.

Hooton said he was close to a financial deal with F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone.

"We are on talking terms with Ecclestone," Hooton told BBC Five Live.

"We have talked money for quite some time with him and we're pretty close to resolving that.

"Now it's really just the length of commitment that we're prepared to give him at his current rate."

Ecclestone is understood to only be prepared to agree a deal for one year with the next six seasons to be negotiated.

The teams' decision to sign up to a scheme to save money also goes some way to guaranteeing the future of the Silverstone race.

If Ferrari don't sign then the rest of us may well start implementing some of this without them
Minardi boss
Paul Stoddart
The teams have said they would compete in 19 races next year - with the threatened French and British Grands Prix as the 18th and 19th - if their proposals were accepted.

F1 teams are contracted to only 17 races and Ecclestone has to compensate teams to attend extra events.

The teams have proposed a limit on tyre testing to 10 days away from the races, and the use of a standard "control" tyre.

But Ferrari have so far blocked the changes.

The issue of testing has long been a major sticking point for Ferrari.

The championship-winning constructors have their own testing circuits at Fiorano and Mugello and have in the past resisted attempts to reduce testing.

"If Ferrari don't sign then the rest of us may well start implementing some of this without them," said Minardi boss Paul Stoddart.

"It's then up to them whether to join us or not."

Hooton also welcomed the teams' initiative and said it was encouraging news.

"We have spoken to some of the team principals," Hooton added.

"Any chance of a team contribution to resolve the problem would be very much welcomed by us.

"As yet we haven't had any coherent proposals coming forward from them but the teams do have some form of attachment to Silverstone."




SEE ALSO
History 'could save British GP'
24 Oct 04  |  Formula One
F1 boss backs non-championship GP
23 Oct 04  |  Formula One
F1 teams to lobby for Silverstone
21 Oct 04  |  Formula One
Silverstone eyes unofficial race
21 Oct 04  |  Formula One
Silverstone pledges to battle on
21 Oct 04  |  Formula One
Clock ticking on Silverstone
20 Oct 04  |  Formula One
British GP axed
30 Sep 04  |  Formula One


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