British GP set to be saved as F1 and Silverstone close in on new deal

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A deal confirming that the British Grand Prix has been saved could be announced on Wednesday.

PA understands that Formula One and Silverstone are putting together the finishing touches on a new contract which would guarantee the future of the sport’s oldest race.

As it stands Sunday’s round at Silverstone is set to be the last staged at the Northamptonshire track unless a fresh deal is agreed.

Sources close to the negotiations have said that the financial side of a new agreement have now been settled, and although the contract has yet to be signed off, both parties are working together to iron out the final terms.

While Silverstone remains hopeful of getting the deal over the line before this weekend, they will not be rushed into an agreement unless all of the details are to their suiting.

The future of the British Grand Prix has hung in the balance for two years after Silverstone triggered its release clause in the hope of brokering a better deal.

Their current contract, struck with former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, includes a five per cent annual increase which would have escalated the hosting fee to £26million by 2026.

While the race at Silverstone attracts 350,000 spectators over the weekend – with a record crowd in excess of 140,000 expected through the turnstiles on Sunday – the staging fee was making the event untenable.

The track hosted the inaugural Formula One world championship race in 1950 and has been the British Grand Prix’s permanent home since 1987.

McLaren driver Lando Norris, ahead of his maiden home race, told the BBC on Monday: “A lot of people would be hugely disappointed if there wasn’t a British Grand Prix, especially at Silverstone.

“It is such an iconic track with so much history. For a lot of drivers, Silverstone would be their number one circuit. It would be a shame if we didn’t race there again.”

Lewis Hamilton will be bidding to win his home race for a record sixth time on Sunday.

The world champion holds a 31-point lead over Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas as he bids to secure a sixth title.

Provided by Press Association Sport

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