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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 November, 2004, 15:32 GMT
Caborn delight over Silverstone
Silverstone, home of the British Grand Prix
Sports Minister Richard Caborn says he wants Silverstone to be central to a motorsport industry hub after threats to the British Grand Prix receded.

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone had threatened to axe the race for next year but, provided major changes are made, this now seems unlikely.

"We are determined to make improvements and build the world's best motor sport industry cluster too," he said.

"It represents a fantastic opportunity for everyone in UK motor sport."

Ecclestone had long been a critic of Silverstone's facilities, and with the F1 circuit visiting new purpose-built venues in places like Bahrain and Malaysia, its place on the calendar had been under threat.

This deal is excellent news for not just thousands of F1 fans but the motorsport industry that revolves around Silverstone
Richard Caborn

But with nine of the 10 teams having agreed to an expanded 19-race calendar, to be ratified next month, Silverstone's place now looks safe, as long as changes are made.

"This deal is excellent news for not just the thousands of F1 fans in the UK, but the motorsport industry that revolves around the Silverstone Grand Prix as well," said the minister.

"With F1's many British-based teams now remaining on these shores, we will have the continued supply of 40,000 jobs as well.

"This has undoubtedly been a tough few months for everyone involved in negotiations.

"But I hope this announcement presents a new chance for us all to work together to achieve what are our common goals."

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F1 teams still split on changes
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21 Oct 04 |  Formula One
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20 Oct 04 |  Formula One
British GP axed
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