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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 November, 2004, 14:08 GMT
Silverstone optimistic for future
BY Andrew Benson
Motorsport editor

The cars line up on the grid at Silverstone for the start of the 2004 British Grand Prix
The BRDC is hopeful the British GP has a long-term future
The breaking of the deadlock in the row over next year's British Grand Prix could help resolve the race's long-term future, Silverstone's owners believe.

The Formula One teams have hammered out a deal that should secure a one-year deal for a race at Silverstone in 2005.

Alex Hooton, boss of Silverstone owner the British Racing Drivers' Club, said he hoped that would lead to more productive talks on 2006 and beyond.

He added that it would take "a couple of years" to fully secure the race.

"I think it will probably be a couple of years before you can actually say the Grand Prix at Silverstone is nailed down for the next 15 years or whatever," Hooton told BBC Sport.

"What I'm hoping, though, is that now we have resolved a way of working together for next year, we may well be able to resolve the negotiations for 2006 and beyond a little more quietly and quickly than we have been able to this time."

The BRDC chief executive underlined, however, that there was as yet no guarantee the British Grand Prix would take place in 2005.

Nine of the 10 F1 teams agreed with the sport's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone on Tuesday to make a loss on the British and French races to ensure they happened next year.

And Ecclestone emphasised that Ferrari, who have yet to agree, could still break the deal.

The devil is quite often in the detail with these sorts of transactions
Alex Hooton
BRDC chief executive
Previous talks between Ecclestone and the BRDC aimed at securing a commercial contract for the race have broken down.

But Hooton said that it appeared the reasons for those failures had now been removed.

The agreement the teams have proposed will see Ecclestone run the Grand Prix at Silverstone while covering any costs incurred by the BRDC.

Hooton said: "We have to be a bit careful here.

"While we've had contact with team principals since the meeting yesterday (Tuesday), and they have outlined to us a potential deal, we have not yet received anything in writing from FOM (Ecclestone's F1 Management company).

"And the devil is quite often in the detail with these sorts of transactions.

"However, it appears that the proposal will relate to a deal for the 2005 Grand Prix in a way that isolates the BRDC from the commercial risk of running the event.

F1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone
Ecclestone is set to take over the running of the British GP
"And if that is the case, it is a transaction that we will do our best to make happen because there seems to have been a real contribution from the teams towards creating this possibility and also a very positive reaction from Mr Ecclestone.

"Effectively, what we're looking at is we make the circuit available to Bernie to run," Hooton added.

"There is some confusion, quite naturally, as to what financial terms are linked to that.

"And therefore I can't really comment on that at this stage, and I'm waiting to get a proposal from him so we can have a look at it.

"But the basic structure of the deal is one we would be interested in.

"Our concern before was not so much that we were in a commercial risk situation, but that we were in pretty much a certainty of losing a significant amount of money and we just couldn't do that."





SEE ALSO
Silverstone's hopes rise for 2005
10 Nov 04 |  Formula One


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