Silverstone close to 'Arena' go-ahead

Silverstone is edging closer a decision to run this year's British Grand Prix on its new Arena Circuit following positive feedback from early meetings with Formula 1 figures

Silverstone close to 'Arena' go-ahead

The track's managing director Richard Phillips revealed on Tuesday that he was increasingly hopeful that the new layout could be used - but that the final decision now rested with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

"It's yet to be decided," he told AUTOSPORT during a site visit to the Silverstone works. "We need approval from three sides. So far two have said yes and one [Ecclestone] says maybe, so we'll work on that.

"Allsport [F1's corporate hospitality company] has said yes. And while the FIA needs to homologate the new track of course, it is happy with the plan in principle."

Phillips said that Silverstone planned to send a progress report to Ecclestone soon, so he could approve the idea of the British GP running on an all-new layout.

"Bernie needs us to send him the plans for the changes and a report of the progress so far before he can agree, but I think it should be alright [for 2010]," he said.

The Northamptonshire-based circuit is currently undergoing a major revamp, with a new infield circuit being constructed and major changes being made to grandstands and spectator facilities.

As part of that upgrade, 180,000 tonnes of earth have been moved - and 8,000 tonnes of asphalt have already been laid. The grandstands between Woodcote and Copse have been torn down, ready to be rebuilt in a slightly tweaked location.

The Woodcote to Copse grandstands will be moved back to allow Silverstone to widen the current start-finish straight.

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