Silverstone signs new F1 deal to run British Grand Prix until 2024

Silverstone circuit chiefs have agreed a new five-year deal with Liberty Media, which will keep the British Grand Prix venue on the Formula 1 calendar until 2024

Silverstone signs new F1 deal to run British Grand Prix until 2024

In July 2017, the track's bosses triggered a break clause in the current British GP contract that had been signed with Bernie Ecclestone in 2009.

It meant Silverstone opted out of the remaining 2020-26 seasons included in that deal amid the financial uncertainty regarding a 5% escalator fee in the original agreement, which would have taken the hosting cost up to £26 million.

Recent interest from Liberty Media over holding a race in London had raised fresh doubt over the likelihood of Silverstone signing a new deal.

But in a press conference on Wednesday with F1 CEO Chase Carey, Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle and chairman of the British Racing Drivers' Club - the circuit owner - John Grant, the new deal was formally confirmed

"We are really pleased to confirm that the British Grand Prix will stay on the FIA Formula 1 world championship calendar for at least the next five years, with the event remaining at its longstanding home, Silverstone circuit," said Carey.

"We have always said that, if it is to have a long-term future, our sport must preserve its historic venues and Silverstone and Great Britain represent the cradle of this sport, its starting point back in 1950.

"Today, Formula 1 is a global sport, held on five continents, watched by an audience of over 500 million fans around the world and our aim is to grow this number by bringing the sport we love to new countries, while also maintaining its roots: Silverstone and the British Grand Prix are an integral part of that vision."

F1 sporting chief Ross Brawn had said in March that the championship was "determined" to retain Silverstone, and reported that despite "differing in our views" the circuit and F1 were "not a massive amount apart" in settling on the terms of a new deal.

As a privately-owned entity, Silverstone does not receive any public subsidies.

In recent years, the BRDC has restructured the circuit's business model so that it is not financially dependent on the British GP.

"The British Grand Prix at Silverstone is rightly recognised as one of the highlights of both the F1 championship and the annual British sporting calendar," said Pringle.

"This is thanks to our track being one of the greatest drivers' circuits in the world but also the enormous passion for motor racing that exists in the loyal and knowledgeable fans that we have in this country.

"The prospect of not hosting a grand prix at Silverstone would have been devastating for everyone in the sport and I am delighted that we are here today, on the eve of what is sure to be a fantastic event [in 2019], making this positive announcement about the future."

The new deal could also lead to the return of an official in-season test at Silverstone, with circuit boss Stuart Pringle saying "we'd been keen to hold it".

F1 has stated that it wants to retain classic European circuits on the F1 calendar, but the contracts for races in Spain and German are set to expire in 2020.

Last season, the British Grand Prix recorded the highest weekend and race day attendance figures of all 21 races - 340,000 and 140,500, respectively.

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