Ecclestone: no qualms over British GP axe
|By Jonathan Noble||Wednesday, February 6th 2008, 10:21 GMT|
Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone insists he will have 'no sentiment' over dropping the British Grand Prix from the calendar, as he warns that time is running out for Silverstone to secure a new deal.
Although the Northamptonshire-track expressed hope about its future on Tuesday when it revealed it had received local authority approval for a much talked-about revamp, Ecclestone has said that there are more hurdles to overcome yet before its future is sorted.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Ecclestone said that the commercial aspects of a new deal were far from settled - and that if he was not happy with what was on offer then the 2009 British GP would be the last.
"Assume the facilities are built and we like it. The next problem is the commercial agreement for us [the grand prix] to be there," Ecclestone said.
"This has not been discussed other than the guy [from the BRDC] who came to see me some time ago saying there is no way we [BRDC] could pay you even what we have paid you in the past.
"So there are two things to overcome. First they need to build the facilities, and then they need to pay the market rate. There is no sentiment in this from my point of view.
"I want [from the BRDC] 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."
He added: "What other countries would normally do is enter into a commercial agreement.
"We would want a letter of credit to cover two years' fees. They would then need to build a facility in the way we would want it built. If they didn't build it for whatever reason, they would lose their two-year fee."
The matter looks even more complicated, however, with sources suggesting that the local authority approval for Silverstone's redevelopment was only given on the condition that Ecclestone guaranteed the future of the race.