On the eve of this weekends British Grand Prix, Formula 1 has today announced a new deal with the Silverstone circuit to host the race for the next 5 years.
Silverstone is one of the most iconic circuits on the calendar with it having hosted the first ever official F1 race back in 1950. However it’s future on the calendar had been in doubt after the owners (BRDC) triggered a break clause in it’s current contract due too fears it would become too expensive to host under Bernie Ecclestone’s deal which increased the hosting fee every year.
BRDC chairman John Grant said: “Silverstone is one of the most iconic Grands Prix on the F1 calendar and with such a rich heritage it would have been disastrous for the sport and fans had we not managed to find a way forward.
“2020 will be the 70th anniversary of the first round of the World Championship which took place at Silverstone on 13th May 1950 and will make next year’s event all the more special. This is great news for the BRDC, Silverstone and Formula 1 – and for millions of British motor racing fans.”
Had Silverstone failed to secure a new deal it was planned for a new race to be held on the streets of London. Although there was a fair amount of backlash to this idea due to the disruption it would have caused to one of the most congested cities in the world.
Britain was one of the main places Liberty Media wanted to keep on the calendar with the current champion being British and the fact 7 of the 10 teams are based in the UK.
“We have always said that our sport must preserve its historic venues,” Said Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey.
“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.”
Silverstone will join the 2020 calendar alongside new circuits of Zandvoort in The Netherlands and Hanoi in Vietnam also joining for next season.