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F1 NEWS 

Ecclestone not willing to deal with BRDC

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone says he is not interested in dealing with Silverstone owner's the British Racing Drivers' Club to secure the future of the British Grand Prix.

The British track's deal to host the race lasts until 2009 and contract renewal discussions are expected to be difficult, with Ecclestone having made it clear that the circuit needs to undergo a major revamp in order to secure an extension to their current agreement.

Speaking in an interview in this week's Autosport, Ecclestone makes it clear that he will only begin talks if the BRDC give up responsibility for the running of the event.

"I want to deal with a promoter rather than the BRDC," said Ecclestone. "It is too difficult with the BRDC because you get no guarantees with them.

"We've said that unless they can get the circuit to the level expected from so-called third world countries we are not prepared to do a deal. They know what we want them to build."

The BRDC have been hoping for early approval of their 'Master Plan' redevelopment of the track in order to secure the future of the British Grand Prix, the only race other than Italy's to have been present on the calendar since 1950.

Ecclestone, however, is sceptical about the Master Plan.

"I don't read what they say, to be honest," Ecclestone added. "I've heard it all before."

When asked if he has any idea who could promote the race, he said: "No. But somebody has to take over the commercial side and be responsible."

He added: "We have to start looking at it and it needs to be sorted by the end of the year. It is nice to have a British GP because it is the home of F1. But a lot is being spent on the Olympics. Perhaps they need to spend some money on F1."

BRDC chairman Stuart Rolt responded to Ecclestone's comments, saying the Club will do everything possible to secure the future of the race.

"Bernie is right in principle," said Rolt. "We recognised a while ago that it is difficult for him to deal with the BRDC due to the complex nature of our ownership. We now have a small independent negotiating team with all the right commercial experience to be responsible.

"We are going to make strenuous efforts to keep a British GP in the future, and as Bernie said it's nice to have a British GP in the home of F1."

The interview with Bernie Ecclestone, as well as an analysis on the future of Silverstone, is available in this week's issue of Autosport magazine.

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