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Page last updated at 13:37 GMT, Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Silverstone 'set to seal F1 deal'

Silverstone circuit
Silverstone has to sign a contract for the British Grand Prix by 9 December

Silverstone Holdings' managing director says a deal for the track to host next year's British Grand Prix is imminent.

Donington lost the right to stage the race, and Formula 1 boss chief Bernie Ecclestone has imposed a 9 December deadline for a deal to be put in place.

Richard Phillips said he hoped the deal would be for at least 10 years.

"I don't think there are any real stumbling blocks, we're going through the last details of the deal," Phillips told BBC Radio Northampton.

"I'm pretty convinced that it will be run at Silverstone next year."

Donington Park was set to host the race but was seemingly ruled out after failing to show it had the necessary £135m funding.

We've been planning for more than a year, we'll finish the track works in March and start on the new pits ready for 2011

Richard Phillips

Phillips said that wrangling over the minor details of the contract were causing the delay in a resolution being reached.

"There is a lot of detail to go through, so if you make a mistake, there's a long time to repent," he added.

"You can come to high level agreements quickly, but the devil is in the detail. We're very, very close.

"We certainly would like the contract to be for more than 10 years - that's the minimum."

Phillips also revealed that Silverstone had been planning for the Grand Prix even while Donington was lined up as the venue for the 2010 race.

"We always had the faith that the Grand Prix would return," he said.

"We've been planning for more than a year, we'll finish the track works in March and start on the new pits ready for 2011."


Silverstone has already been warned that it needs to modernise its facilities in order to secure the race.

The Northamptonshire circuit has hosted every British Grand Prix since 1987, while Donington, which is synonymous with MotoGP, has held only one F1 race, the European Grand Prix in 1993.

Donington Park owner Simon Gillett feels the Leicestershire venue still has the potential to host next year's British Grand Prix even though his leasing company, Donington Ventures Leisure Limited (DVLL) is in administration and time is against them.

"As far as I see it there are two tracks competing, so in my mind that makes it 50-50," said Gillett.

"As Bernie said last week, if someone comes in now and invests in Donington the chance is still there.

"The administrators are working hard and if we had the money we would have the 17-year agreement.

"There are half-a-dozen people interested at the moment, from different backgrounds, with different ideas and intentions.

"But from a location point of view and a fans' point of view, everything about Donington makes it a viable circuit."

DVLL secured a 17-year contract to host F1 in July last year but this was later withdrawn following the failure to secure the £135m funding required to fund redevelopment plans.

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see also
British GP facing final deadline
22 Nov 09 |  Formula 1
Donington 'unlikely to host F1'
19 Nov 09 |  Leicestershire
No Donington GP, says Ecclestone
29 Oct 09 |  Formula 1
McLaren to fight for British GP
28 Oct 09 |  Formula 1
Silverstone warned by Ecclestone
24 Oct 09 |  Formula 1

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