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Last Updated: Monday, 12 June 2006, 15:06 GMT 16:06 UK
Talks begin on British GP future
F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone
Ecclestone has previously criticised Silverstone heavily
Silverstone bosses are already in talks with Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone to net a new deal for the British Grand Prix.

The current contract expires in 2009 but talks have started early to avoid a dispute like the one which almost saw last year's race axed.

Silverstone managing director Richard Phillips said: "We are already talking to Bernie about beyond 2009.

"There is an element of trust - so we are hoping we can really move along."

Ecclestone is likely to require Silverstone to modernise its paddock facilities, as well as overhaul the spectator areas if a new deal is to be signed for 2010 onwards.

But McLaren boss Ron Dennis, a member of the British Racing Drivers' Club which owns the track, warned that Silverstone requires "hundreds of millions of pounds" of investment to become a world-class venue.

I want to put in state-of-the-art grandstands

Richard Phillips

He said: "Obviously, there is a strong desire to improve Silverstone and make it not just a better circuit, but the best in the world.

"To do that, a fine tuning is not what's needed. Spending 10m, 20m, 30m is not going to do it.

"It needs massive investment to make it world class."

Phillips is already putting his mind to a major overhaul of the Northamptonshire track, the venue for the first-ever world championship grand prix in 1950.

He said: "We should try to move the whole site on to a high-tech, sexy level where people enjoy it for the whole three days and it's a festival of motorsport. I don't think we should pass over the people.

"I want to put that bit right and put in state-of-the-art grandstands and the sort of public facilities you would expect, not just at the top of the circuit but all around the circuit."

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21 Apr 06 |  Formula One
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30 Mar 06 |  Formula One
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22 Feb 06 |  Formula One
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06 Feb 06 |  Formula One
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09 Dec 04 |  Formula One


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