Hopes still slim for British GP – Ecclestone

Wed, 6 February 2008, 12:29

Bernie Ecclestone has taken the wind out of reports that the future of the British grand prix this week took a turn for the better.

It emerged on Tuesday that South Northamptonshire council’s cabinet committee has adopted the British Racing Drivers’ Club’s plans to significantly improve the facilities at Silverstone.

Planning application for a new pit and paddock complex is the next step, scheduled for spring 2008.

But according to Ecclestone, F1’s chief executive, even if satisfactory improvements are made to the circuit, there is no guarantee of a formula one race at Silverstone beyond 2009.

“The next problem is the commercial agreement for us (formula one) to be there,” the 77-year-old told the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

“This has not been discussed other than (with) the (BRDC) guy who came to see me some time ago saying ‘there is no way we could pay you even what we have paid you in the past’,” Bernie said.

Ecclestone insists that the British grand prix will need to “pay the market rate” to continue hosting the sport in the future.

“There is no sentiment in this from my point of view,” the Briton explained. “I want only what we do in any other country; no more, no less.

“I sincerely hope they are in a position to deliver what they know they have to carry out to get the grand prix in 2010,” Ecclestone added.

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