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HT Image

No room for sentiment, Ecclestone warns Silverstone

The British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC), who own the Silverstone venue, moved a step closer to the redevelopment of the circuit after winning local authority backing for their plans this week.
By HT Correspondent | Reuters, London
UPDATED ON FEB 07, 2008 09:45 PM IST

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has warned British Grand Prix organisers that there can be no room for sentiment in talks to keep the race on the calendar after next year.

The British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC), who own the Silverstone venue, moved a step closer to the redevelopment of the circuit after winning local authority backing for their plans this week.

However, Ecclestone told Wednesday's Daily Telegraph newspaper that Silverstone could take nothing for granted.

"Assume the facilities are built and we like it," he said.

"The next problem is the commercial agreement for us (Formula One) to be there.

"This has not been discussed other than the guy who came to see me some time ago saying there is no way we (the BRDC) could pay you even what we have paid you in the past.

"So there are two things to overcome. First they need to build the facilities, then they need to pay the market rate. There is no sentiment in this from my point of view," the 77-year-old Briton added.

"I want only what we do in any other country, no more no less. I sincerely hope they (the BRDC) are in a position to deliver what they know they have to carry out to get the grand prix in 2010."

Silverstone, a former World War Two airfield, hosted the first grand prix of the Formula One championship in 1950 and has a degree of protection as one of the traditional races along with Monaco, Monza in Italy and Spa in Belgium.

However, there also has to be a commercial agreement and the circuit has fallen behind more modern purpose-built facilities in emerging markets such as China, Bahrain, Malaysia and Turkey.

Ecclestone is under pressure from countries eager to host a race and with governments willing to pay substantially for the privilege.

Singapore will make its debut this year with a street race while Abu Dhabi comes in for 2009 and India and South Korea are lined up for 2010.

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