F1 and Silverstone announce five-year deal to save British GP

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Silverstone will host the British Grand Prix until 2024 after Formula 1 announced a new five-year deal on Wednesday.

Ahead of this weekend's race, speculation had been growing that an agreement had been reached to renew the contract which was set to expire after this year.

This after Silverstone's decision last year to activate a release clause in the deal signed with Bernie Ecclestone back in 2010, which went on until 2029, citing the increasing fees of hosting F1.

Negotiations have been tough with Liberty Media but support has continued to pile in for the venue which held the first world championship race in 1950 and finally, the future has been secured.

"We are really pleased to confirm that the British Grand Prix will stay on the FIA Formula 1 world championship calendar for at least the next five years, with the event remaining at its longstanding home, Silverstone circuit," F1 CEO Chase Carey stated.

"We have always said that, if it is to have a long-term future, our sport must preserve its historic venues 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.”

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One of the key figures pushing for a better deal was Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle and in the announcement, he believes the race got just that.

“The British Grand Prix at Silverstone is rightly recognised as one of the highlights of both the F1 championship and the annual British sporting calendar," he declared.

"This is thanks to our track being one of the greatest drivers’ circuits in the world but also the enormous passion for motor racing that exists in the loyal and knowledgeable fans that we have in this country.

"The prospect of not hosting a Grand Prix at Silverstone would have been devastating for everyone in the sport and I am delighted that we are here today, on the eve of what is sure to be a fantastic event, making this positive announcement about the future.”

That sentiment was echoed by John Grant, chairman of the British Racing Drivers Club who owns Silverstone.

“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," he said.

"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”.