British Grand Prix 'has been saved'

The oldest race on the F1 calendar - the British Grand Prix at Silverstone - has been saved following a new 17-year-deal agreed between circuit chiefs and F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone.

Silverstone Circuits stepped into the breach following Donington Park's failure to meet its obligations.

Richard Phillips, Silverstone managing director, said: "We've always had five-year deals and never been able to get the investment we needed to redevelop. But 17 years gives us 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. At the end of the day, though, you have to have a British Grand Prix.

"We've now got to sell a lot of tickets, to get out there and do similar sorts of numbers as we did this year when we had 230,000 people there over the three days, and promote the event."

Phillips described the deal as "peace in our time" between the circuit's owners, the British Racing Drivers Club and Ecclestone.

"The relationship with Formula One Management has been improving," added Phillips.

"There's a good working relationship with him now and we don't have any issues."

Copyright © Press Association 2009