After much stress, the British Grand Prix has been saved from expulsion. A recent contract made between Formula One and the Donington venue failed after the track was unable to raise redevelopment funds needed to stage the race. Formula One left in the hole, they were considering moving the race to another country.
However, two days before the deadline for the 2010 race location, Formula One finally struck a deal with Silverstone that will allow the famous venue to host the race for the next 17 years. Silverstone Managing Director Richard Phillips was ecstatic to report they have only been able to secure five-year deals due to the investment needed to redevelop, and the upcoming 17 years will give the ability to invest and move forward.
“We’ve always had the belief the British Grand Prix was an important cornerstone of Formula One but, with Bernie, You’re never quite sure,” Phillips said. Damon Hill, the 1996 Formula One driver’s champion and President of the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC), which owns Silverstone, admitted the venue would have to work to meet its commitments, but welcomed the deal with open arms. “It’s not easy to enter into an agreement of this magnitude,” Hill said. “the BRDC felt we wanted this relationship to continue, and we were prepared to back the negotiating team, with the level of risk satisfactory for the deal to go ahead.” The Very First British Grand Prix was held at the Silverstone location in 1950 and the venue has hosted the most races since; including every race since 1987.