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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 November, 2004, 17:20 GMT
British GP 'saved by F1 meeting'
Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher on the podium at this year's British Grand Prix
The future of the British Grand Prix has been in serious doubt
Formula One teams appear to have agreed a cost-cutting deal which will save the British and French Grands Prix in 2005.

Nine of the 10 teams said on Tuesday they would bear the cost of two extra races by cutting testing by 50%.

Ferrari, who oppose a cut in testing, were absent from the meeting but F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone told Autosport magazine he expected them to agree.

Ecclestone said he would be "shattered" if he could not now agree a contract with Silverstone for the British race.

He admitted that the deal could not happen without Ferrari's support.

But Ecclestone said he was confident Ferrari would sign up to the agreement, despite the Italian team's reluctance to consider testing cuts.

"It's wrong to say that Ferrari have been excluded. I think they will come along. It's positive news for a change."

The deal is done - there is nothing stopping the French and British Grands Prix from going ahead
Paul Stoddart
Minardi boss
The future of the British GP has been in doubt because of a financial dispute between Silverstone's owners, the British Racing Drivers' Club, and Ecclestone.

The BRDC said in a statement: "The BRDC has not yet been officially informed of any proposal by FOM [Formula One Management].

"But if there is a new proposal to safeguard the British Grand Prix in 2005 which makes financial sense for the sport, the industry, the club and especially the local economy, it will be seriously considered by the board."

The nine teams met Ecclestone at the Hilton Hotel near Heathrow airport in London on Tuesday.

McLaren team boss Ron Dennis, a member of the BRDC, said: "We believe agreement was reached that removes any obvious obstacle for the British and French GPs to take place."

Minardi team owner Paul Stoddart added to the Reuters news agency: "The deal is done. There is nothing stopping the French and British Grands Prix from going ahead."

Taking part in each extra race costs a team 3m, so the only way they could contemplate a 19-race calendar including France and Britain was by cutting costs.

McLaren team boss Ron Dennis
Dennis believes there will be races at Silverstone and Magny-Cours
Stoddart said Ferrari's resistance to a cost-cutting initiative agreed by the other teams last month had been effectively bypassed.

"The 10 teams will get paid an equal amount and each and every team will lose money on this but we did it for the interests of the sport," he said.

"All Ferrari have to do is accept the same amount of money and turn up and all (FIA president) Max (Mosley) has to do is agree (to the extra races)."

Mosley has already expressed his support for both races.

As a further cost-cutting measure, the teams had been keen to use just one tyre manufacturer for next season.

But they have agreed to shelve that change and reconsider the issue for 2006.

The so-called tyre war between Michelin and Bridgestone is responsible for the vast majority of F1 testing as teams attempt to get the best out of their respective tyres.

"We'd like to have a control tyre as soon as possible but realistically we can only vote this in for 2006," Stoddart said.

"These moves are not anti-Ferrari, they are pro Formula One.

"We have got to put Formula One back on the straight and narrow and take it forward in a professional way and we're doing that now."

F1 costs row gets dirty
26 Oct 04 |  Formula One
Mosley demands more cuts
26 Oct 04 |  Formula One
F1 teams still split on changes
23 Oct 04 |  Formula One
F1 teams to lobby for Silverstone
21 Oct 04 |  Formula One
New hope for Silverstone
20 Oct 04 |  Formula One
British GP axed
30 Sep 04 |  Formula One

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