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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 November, 2004, 08:30 GMT
Silverstone's hopes rise for 2005
Michael Schumacher celebrates his 2004 Silverstone win
Michael Schumacher won the 2004 British Grand Prix
The owners of Silverstone have fresh optimism that the British Grand Prix will go ahead next year.

A deal between Formula One's teams and F1 ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone looks to have saved the race.

Alex Hooton, chief executive of the British Racing Drivers' Club, told Radio 4's Today programme: "We haven't opened the champagne yet.

"But it sounds as if the teams and Mr Ecclestone have put together some pretty constructive proposals."

The Silverstone race has been in doubt because of a financial dispute between the BRDC and Ecclestone.

But the Formula One teams have agreed to reduce their testing by 50%, which has freed up enough money to save both the British and French Grands Prix.

"Next year there will be 19 races, which is two more than the teams are obligated to go to," said Hooton.

We understand the teams themselves are pretty confident Ferrari will come along
BRDC chief Alex Hooton

"In order to accommodate that Mr Ecclestone, I believe, has reached an accommodation with the teams as to the fees that he will play them to turn up to the two extra races."

Hooton said that some obstacles remained but that he thought an agreement would be signed within the next month.

"The only little word of caution is that I believe Ferrari once again were not present at Tuesday's meeting and their compliance would be required to make this work," said Hooton.

"But we understand the teams themselves are pretty confident Ferrari will come along.

"I think you can basically thank everybody who's been working together to try and achieve a solution to what's been a very knotty problem.

"We're obviously waiting to get the written proposal from Mr Ecclestone.

"It's all got to be done before 10 December when the world council meets in Monaco to ratify the final calendar."

Interview: BRDC chief exec Alex Hooton

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