Silverstone coffers ‘stretched’ by circuit changes

Fri, 30 April 2010, 08:31

Apr.30 (GMM) Silverstone has admitted to stretching its financial abilities “further than ever before” to pay for its circuit changes.

The Northamptonshire venue’s new 760 metre ‘Arena’ section was launched on Thursday, and for the 2011 race the start-finish line and pit and paddock complex will be moved to the straight after Club corner.

It is believed the new facilities are a requirement of the new 17-year grand prix contract, and BRDC chairman Damon Hill admits the financial cost is a risk to the circuit owners.

Asked if Silverstone’s coffers are now stretched to the limit, the 1996 world champion answered: “Not to the absolute limit, but certainly stretching further than has been stretched before.

“I think it’s a necessary risk. The alternative was very possibly that the British grand prix would have gone off the calendar.”

Hill talked up the talents of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton at Thursday’s event, admitting that Silverstone is now relying on Britain’s “tradition for producing world class drivers who will eventually drive people through the gate”.

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