Silverstone given until tomorrow to accept Ecclestone’s 370m offer

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Silverstone is the last chance for a British Grand Prix in 2010

Bernie Ecclestone has told Silverstone it has until tomorrow to accept his offer to host the British Grand Prix in 2010.

Silverstone has been left to pick up the pieces after Ecclestone’s attempt to take the race from them and give it to Donington Park failed. Just as it did when he tried to do the same thing with Brands Hatch a few years ago.

But will Ecclestone give Silverstone the same generous deadline extensions Donington had? By my count Simon Gillett got at least three extensions on his deadline to prove he had the necessary funding to complete the building work.

The British government continues to refuse to put any money into the race. This would be a reasonable position if it weren’t also throwing untold billions into the London 2012 Olympics money pit (and I say this as someone who lives in London and appreciates the scale of the regeneration work going on)

The 9bn the British government is putting into holding the Olympics for one year would be sufficient to pay Silverstone’s 17-year deal 24 times over – supporting an event which is vitally important to Britain’s hugely successful motor racing industry.

The deal: 17 years, 370m

Ecclestone’s offer is believed to be a 17-year contract starting at 12m with a 7% ‘escalator’. (Some sources have reported slightly different figures, but these three seem to be the most widely accepted ones).

By my reckoning, that means the total value of the contract will be 370m ($613m / ??412m) over 17 years. The final race of the deal in 2026 will cost 35.42m.

It’s important to appreciate how much of a difference that innocuous-looking 7% represents. Far from it costing them 12m per year to host the race, the circuit in fact needs that plus an average of an extra 9.7m every year. Here’s how it breaks down:

YearEcclestone’s British Grand Prix price

Clearly, the deal would commit Silverstone to annual increases in fees far above the rate of inflation.

Given the economic conditions, who knows what’s going to happen to inflation over the next decade-and-a-half. The rate of inflation in Britain is slightly over 1% at the moment, so even if Ecclestone applied a far more realistic ‘escalator’ of 2% Silverstone’s total bill would be slashed by around 130m.

Ecclestone says the deal is the most favourable offered to any circuit, but most other tracks – even those in Europe – enjoy some kind of government support. However the length of the Silverstone contract is atypical – the longest are usually around ten years.

Silverstone’s financial statement for 2008, published two weeks ago showed a slender profit of 662,000 from revenue of 38.2m. Even in a growing economy it would be hard to imagine where it could conjure up 21.7m on average every year to pay Ecclestone. In the current climate it’s utterly unrealistic.

Will Ecclestone accept a lower figure? Will he give them more time to work out how they might meet these extraordinary fees? Or will he not even give them as much as a deadline extension? We’ll know on Sunday.

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2010 British Grand Prix

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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110 comments on “Silverstone given until tomorrow to accept Ecclestone’s 370m offer”

  1. Is it called Formula One or Formula Ecclestone!?
    FOTA had their chance to pull away….wish they took it! Now what? The only people to watch an F1 race in the flesh will be the rich and famous. We will all have to stick to watching it on TV :-(
    One day when I have kids I would love to take them to the F1 in Melbourne (if Australia still has it), the way its going, I will have to save for the next 10 years just to afford it!

    1. I hear you IVZ, but FOTA could do its bit in forcing ecclestone’s arm into incorporating some races they think are vital, and Silverstone is one of those races…

      it’s not all about breaking away…

      in any case i think the 7% is the Killer, and it’s ridiculous… but maybe Silverstone can prove to be the home of motorsport by expanding its seating areas even further and improving its yearly events calender in order to break even…

      a fiver a lap Nurburgring style would be an idea they could do…or something like that to inject the much needed money..

      however please don’t take the above idea against me , i dont support Eccelstone’s stupid fees and i would be happy if race day tickets were no more than 60 USD.

      1. 7% if it were true would be absolutely unbelievable, only superinflation or worse could save us but then we’d be screwed anyway.

        Fundamentally that cost would have to be paid by the fans. Already ticket prices are too high, I live in the UK yet I can go to the Hungarian Grand Prix for less than it costs to go the British GP.

      2. I would offer Bernie and CVC/FOM half of that iwth no increase per year and say to them take it or leave it. Silvestone doesnt need F1 but F1 does need Silverstone.
        Tracks like Silverstone , Spa, Monza, Imola, and a few others are the backbone and the sould of F1.

  2. not only that, but u’ll be travelling to Arabia or something! somewhere with no racing history whatsoever, as that is F1 goes these days

    1. Next destination——–>> Makkah?? he really seems to like the Sheiks :P

  3. I cannot believe B.C. Ecclestone’s stance on the British Grand Prix. Sure, he wants top of the line facilities at all the tracks, and that may still be an issue at Silverstone, I don’t know, but both Germany and Spain even got a 2nd Grand Prix when they had a World Champion on the grid, but the UK’s have not 1 but 2 WDCs, and their single race is under thread.

    1. Totally off topic, but Lustigson, could you please update the 2010 Silly Season topic at Autosport? (Since you started it).

      Oh, Bernie is a greedy troll!!! ;)

    2. I also believe the offer he’s made is unrealistic — and therefore it looks like Ecclestone doesn’t want a British GP, no matter what he says. When a seller isn’t under pressure to sell, he puts the price right up — that is what Bernie has done.

      What I don’t understand is, why should F1 make a profit out of the circuits? They get plenty enough revenue from TV licensing, which seems to be the main income these days. Why try to bleed circuits dry? Oh, wait — it’s just the historic European tracks that can’t afford it. Never mind, we’ll have the entire F1 season in the desert instead.

  4. Ecclestone reminds me of the Danny DeVito character in the film ‘Other People’s Money’ – check it out if you haven’t seen it. Anyway, the philosophy of DeVito’s character is, the person with the most money wins.

  5. Prisoner Monkeys
    6th November 2009, 8:06

    They should sign. They don’t have much of a choice.

    1. And what happens if two years down the road Silverstone run out of money, or even worse, go bankrupt ?

      CVC Partners are the driving force behind Ecclestone’s murderous stance. They call the shots. Money is all that interests them. Ecclestone is their very own Rottweiler. An attack dog with interesting views on people and businesses that ‘get things done’.

      Yes, Silverstone needs to get the place cleaned up and a more professional
      attitude to business would help a great deal. But to expect any of the world’s historic F1 tracks to try to compete with the money-no-object venues like Yas Marina is a sick joke.

      And we all know what’s going to happen next don’t we ?

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        6th November 2009, 9:30

        Then we’ll have the Grand Prix for another two years as opposed to not at all. Last time I checked, two is more than none.

        And how exactly is it a sick joke? If history had any of the weight you proscribe it, money would be no object for Silverstone, and it would be Abu Dhabi that struggled.

        1. First point good. ‘Bird in hand’ principal
          entirely valid. But even then you have to admit that a man with a magnum pointed at his temple while his captors tell him his fortune is hardly in a position to make sensible long-term decisions. He’ll do whatever he has to do to stay alive.

          Silverstone people as scarcely in a better position to bargain with CVC/Ecclestone at this moment are they ?

          Is that the way we want F1 to go then…. ?

          1. Silverstone does *not* depend on the F1 race for survival. They make a (little) bit of money on it, sure – and the manufacturer centres that are based there might move after a while if it wasn’t the ‘home of the British GP’ – but not enough to be a problem.

        2. You only say two years is better than none because you’re only thinking of this from a fan’s perspective. Silverstone is turning a profit, so they are in no danger of closing shop if the Grand Prix leaves. The amount of money they would lose each year under this contract is far larger than their entire annual profit. So they would be risking their entire existence to hold these races. The choice facing the track is 1) sign the contract and likely put the entire track being lost to insolvency, or 2) refuse to sign the contract and risk losing the Grand Prix but keep the track and continue to operate it for other types of motorsport. Its hardly a difficult decision from a business stand point. The ONLY reason they might even think of signing the contract is because of the emotional factor of wanting to hold the Grand Prix. In the end I just don’t see them making a reckless decision just to say they held onto the GP.

  6. I’m glad the government isn’t involved. Don’t get me wrong the money spent on the Olympics is ridiculous, but that’s the wrong decision not refusing to get involved in this. It’slike when Webber got punished in Singapore when kimi didn’t at Spa for the off track excursion; it didn’t mean they were wrong to punish Mark just that they were wrong not to punish kimi. I hope that makes sense. What I mean is it shouldn’t be either or and ideally the games would be paid a lot less.,
    Hopefully this will be sorted so I can go to my first grand prix. F1 has lost a lot recently it doesn’t need to lose this too but whatever happens f1 will survive.

    1. I agree. Much as I’d be gutted if there was no British GP, the government should no more pay Bernie’s unreasonable demands than they should give me a Lamborghini.

    2. I’d be happy for then Government to finance the British GP if it weren’t for the fact that half of the money will be used to line a certain Nazi sympathiser’s pockets, and to make a bunch of investment company fatcats even fatter.

      I’mvnot getting too worked up on the vast Olympic spending. We should be proud that our country will be hosting the Olympics. Anyway, isn’t London expecting to recoup most of what it is spending on the Olympics in tourism money?

      1. I’mvnot getting too worked up on the vast Olympic spending. We should be proud that our country will be hosting the Olympics.

        Agreed, its a better use of money than the billions used to pay for MPs gardens or porn films.

      2. Anyway, isn’t London expecting to recoup most of what it is spending on the Olympics in tourism money?

        Haha, that’s what they all say. The real issue is what will happen to all the sports facilities that we didn’t need prior to 2012 and probably won’t need after 2012. But that is another discussion.

        The biggest problem in F1’s commercial business is that the rights-holders are venture capitalists. Their purpose is purely to make money, and they don’t give a toss about racing or history or where the last two champions came from. The day Bernie sold out to CVC will continue to haunt us for a long time.

        1. Brilliant…at last somebody acknowledges the bitter truth about who really runs F1. CVC partners probably couldn’t tell the difference between Michael Schumaker and Daffy the duck. Their only criteria is ‘does it make me money at the annual rate I expect ?’ F1 history ??? how much does that make me this year ? Silverstone ?? ….can I make any money out of it…by the way…what IS Silverstone ? ‘

      3. Actually a report out this week said that tourism coould probably decline when the games are held

  7. Formula 1 can cope with losing teams like BMW and Toyota, and to a much lesser extent Honda, because they don’t have a rich history in the sport. But the classic Grands Prix *are* the sport, they make up the fabric of Formula 1.
    No French GP, a struggling German GP, possibly no British GP. Will we lose the Italian and the Monaco GP’s too?
    If that ends up being the case, will it be Formula 1 anymore? Maybe even Ferrari would lose interest. F1 shouldn’t worry about the teams withdrawing because independents will always be there. But losing these races would be catastrophic.

    1. to a much lesser extent Honda,

      What nonsense are you talking? you must be a kid who doesn’t know nothing about the past!!

      Honda won 6 constructors championships between 1986-1991!! 2 with williams & 4 with maclauren. Yet you sat they don’t have any historical significance? I think you need to drown your self in a bucket full of Carlsberg Beer :P

      1. I’d love a beer! What I mean is that although Honda have a history in Formula 1, they aren’t as synonymous with Formula 1 as, say, the French Grand Prix, the British Grand Prix or the Italian Grand Prix, or indeed Ferrari or Mercedes. I think this is a fair comment and I did say “to a much lesser extent”.
        Anyway, my point is that we can lose teams but we can’t lose races. The races should form the championship and this should attract the teams to F1. It should not be the other way round.

      2. you must be a kid who doesn’t know nothing about the past!!

        That’s a double negative, it means James does know something!

        Anyway, I think he’s right, Honda may have had success in F1, but it they’re just another manufacturer that dips in and out of F1 when it helps them to sell cars. The British GP has been a permanent fixture

      3. I dont get it, what you on about Carlsberg for ?

        1. …mine’s a pint of OSH please !

  8. 2026 £35.43m

    Would Bernie still be alive ? Totally ridiculous! I wish he dies very soon.

    1. Bernie managed to get hold of the TV rights to F1 for a period of 99 years (and he was in his 40’s I think)… I’m pretty sure Bernie doesn’t care about how ridiculous things sound, if he wants something, he gets it!

    2. Could be a bargain with Crash Gordon steering us towards a nice bit of 70s style inflation.

  9. Does anyone know why Bernie wants Silverstone to sign up such a long contract? No other track has been asked to commit for 17 years so why Silverstone? Given that Bernie is unlikely to even be ALIVE at the end of that contract, what’s he trying to achieve?

    1. Maybe he’s aiming to bankrupt the BRDC? So he can buy Silverstone and show them how it should be done.
      What confuses me is he demands they build new pit buildings and spectator facilities, but doesn’t give them a chance to do this because of the extortionate fee he’s charging.

    2. Totally uncalled for I think 1+1=3!

      1. I said that in the best interests of Britain & Formula One. Such citizens must be sent away to Siberia or somewhere.

        1. I think he’s correct. I wouldn’t mind Bernie spending the rest of his life in Siberia.

          1. Siberian Grand Prix anyone?

            Hermann Tilke already has a design in mind…

    3. Wasn’t it the same contract Donington signed first and failed to meet the deadlines?

    4. If I recall correctly, the 17 year contract was Silverstone’s idea.

    5. I was wandering the same.

      Anyone know about some kind of Bernie’s successor?

      Darth Vader?

  10. FOTA, FOTA, where art thou, FOTA?

    now more than ever, i wish the threat of a breakawy series was more than hot air. i don’t want to watch yachts and glow-in-the-dark hotels, i want to watch good car races.

    1. FOTA blew it! Should have pulled out when they had a chance. Ironically the FIA-FOTA meeting took place at Silverstone :P

    2. When was the last time you saw a good F1 race at Silverstone? 2003 by my reckoning, and the last good one before that was …. well, before I started watching F1 at any rate (mid-1990s).

      It’s a myth that the “traditional” circuits always produce good racing. I have NEVER seen a race at Monza worth writing home about.

      1. 2003 was made to look good cos jakie steward or his look alike ran on to the hanger straight :P we need to encourage more such stuff to make racing interesting.

      2. Everyone has different tastes, but off the top of my head I liked the 2008 Grand Prix at both Silverstone and Monza, granted the rain played a big part in those races but they still count as good races for me.

      3. Well i guess ‘good F1 race ‘ is subjective but Silverstone 2008 is one of the more recent memorable ones for me. Driving rain, everyone sliding all over the place and Lewis finishing something like 58 seconds ahead of second place. I was on the edge of my seat for the whole race!

        1. Ah yes, a classic. One where the Ferraris spent more time going backwards than forwards :D

          1. No good races at Monza? I have to disagree. Monza has had some great races, 2007 was an all time classic.
            Monza 1999 was good, as was the Italian GP where the Ferrari’s started on the wrong tyres and had to fight back, maybe that one was 2003??
            1995 was a clsssic too, Gerhard Burger was so unlucky.

  11. I don’t think Bernie will accept low figure,but the government should step in & help.I live in Bangladesh but I still know how important is F1 in UK,we can’t loose any more traditional races as we did with French GP.

    1. ,but the government should step in & help.

      Yeah. Gordon Brawn will go nuts :P Best way out of this is to get rid of Bernie,PERMANENTLY

  12. Bernie is in a strong bargaining position because F1 actually doesn’t need the British GP.

    F1 is a TV sport. It’s no big problem for F1 if the cars are racing in front of five camels and Eric Clapton in Bahrain rather than 120,000 at Silverstone, as the show will still get the global TV audience the sponsors pay for.

  13. “starting at £12m with a 7% ‘escalator’. (Some sources have reported slightly different figures, but these three seem to be the most wifely accepted ones).”

    My, my, that’s one expensive wife…..

  14. I honestly would not blame Silverstone for not signing up to this. How can a business invest in infrastructure for a single annual event and only get a return on ticket sales?
    They hardly get enough at the moment.
    Looks like I’ll be watching LMS Series of FIA GT instead for the next few years.

    If the British GP goes. Will F1 teams look at relocating to other countries in Europe?
    Or is the industry strong enough to manage without a home GP?

  15. Silverstone say they can’t commit to upgrading their facilities unless Bernie gives them a long-term deal. Bernie offers them a long-term deal and now they’re complaining that it’s not suitable either. Sorry BRDC, there’s a bit of give and take involved here.

    Bernie has publicly said that the BRDC can take any one of his contracts with other F1 venues, scratch out the name of the circuit and write “Silverstone” in its place. That tells you something – i.e. that, compared to other circuits, Bernie is being very generous with Silverstone.

    1. Bernie is being very generous with Silverstone

      Are you with the FOM? All Bernie wants is filthy sterling pounds. And the Sheiks of Arabia give him plenty of that. He doesn’t give a damn to Britain & its faithful F1 fans. We are a poor country, cos we don’t have oil. And Bernie is a shameless traitor who’ll sell his own nation for few pennies. He has no patriotism & doubt if he can sing our national anthem!!

    2. Andy you’re always the voice of reason :)
      1+1 it doesn’t matter how wealthy our country is as the government won’t pay because they don’t see what’s in it for them. Compared to most tracks this is a good deal. If Bernie is too soft then other venues will demand better deals. Bernie may demand a lot but it’s up to BRDC if they pay or not. It’s may seem harsh but its how it is and not a lot more can be done.

      1. Bernie must be stripped of his British citizenship, cos everyone thinks the rest of us are like him.

        1. Lol I think most people would know us Brits aren’t like that. We get it lots of times just take any celeb Winehouse or even the Prime Minister and a few will think ‘look at Britain’ and be shocked which is infuriating but most would recognise that they don’t represent us. It’s the same with any country.
          Anyway I’m not sure people thinking we are like him is that much if a bad thing-he’s very wealthy, gets what he wants and is a tough businessman. Quite a few people would like to trade lives with him :P

    3. Any excluding Monaco.

  16. Britain gone, France gone, next Germany? Wouldn’t be too surprised if that were to happen. But I guess Mercedes will slam Bernie’s face with a hammer if he does that.

  17. There basicly buying a historic track out. If silverstone take it they might be paying there selves to close down. I think id rather have a non british GP for a few years till silverstone get the money…then we can have a guaranteed british GP

  18. Bernie won’t rest until Silverstone is off the calendar.

    His argument seems to be “who wants to spend a weekend sitting in a rickety old stand in a windy, rainy, abandoned airfield in England when we can all spend the weekend somewhere exciting and glamorous like Singapore or Abu Dhabi?” I have to say I agree with him that Silverstone needs to up its game in respect of its facilities. Expecting every track to look like Abu Dhabi is a bit extreme, but surely Silverstone could rub a few pennies together and build a nice, modern looking, corporate hospitality centre, a few new covered grandstands and update the pit complex a bit (Expecting a barrage of comments here! “How naive are you! etc etc etc! ;-)).

    If updating the circuit’s facilities secures the future of the British Grand Prix, then do it! I for one am getting really bored of hearing “Silverstone isn’t going to be on the calendar next year” every year! Sort it out!

    Despite its “glamour” shortcomings, I’m sure even Bernie would acknowledge that Silverstone is one of the few tracks left that poses a real challenge to the cars and drivers, so hopefully if Silverstone get’s its act together it will remain on the calendar until 2026 and beyond…

    1. Bernie is schizophrenic. And Yas Marina is total rubbish. We have our own heritage and culture, the Sheiks theirs. We should leave Silverstone as it is.

      i’m sure even Bernie would acknowledge that Silverstone is one of the few tracks left that poses a real challenge to the cars and drivers

      i’m sure even Bernie would acknowledge that Silverstone is one of the few tracks left that poses a real challenge to HIM & HIS GODFORSAKEN EGO

      1. Yas Marina track = agreed, it wasn’t that great.

        Yas marina facilities (for keeping celebrities and drivers happy) = top notch by all accounts.

    2. I think they should update Silverstone to the level of Brazil. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

      All the talk about the facilities not being up to scratch with Abu Dhabi is pretty irrelevant when you realise that there are other circuits not under threat that don’t have the facilites of Silverstone.

    3. Mark Hitchcock
      6th November 2009, 13:33

      It’s going to be impossible for Silverstone to update their facilities if they accept this deal. They’ll be losing a vast amount of money every year until they can no longer afford to hold the grand prix.

      You’re right, Bernie is just trying to get Silverstone off the calendar because this deal is ridiculous and the only aim is to bankrupt the circuit as soon as possible.

  19. I don’t think any Government should have to step to fund its Grand Prix, if Ecclestone didn’t demand such huge fees and on top of that take all the money from advertising at the track, most circuits would be able to charge fans a reasonable price for tickets and not make a loss.

    Besides even if the Government wanted to help, can you imagine what the reaction in the popular press would be with the national finances in such a state and then subsidising a rich sport like F1, when the money is just going straight to Ecclestone and his bosses at CVC.

    Without the 7% escalator the deal might work, ticket prices are not cheap now and if they went up by 7% each year it would not be good at all.

    Ecclestone may have said the deal is the most favourable offered to any circuit but considering Monaco is supposed to not pay any fee and gets to keep the revenue from trackside advertising I would ask for the same deal as Monaco.

    Ecclestone’s idea of give and take is they give and he takes.

    While I do not want the British Grand Prix to disappear from the F1 calendar I don’t think Silverstone should sign any deal that doesn’t make financial sense in the long term. After all if people generally had thought about the long term sustainability of some of the deals they were making the economy may not be in such a mess now.

    1. Ecclestone’s idea of give and take is they give and he takes.

      I laughed myself silly at that, but the sad thing is it’s entirely true.

      The facts are that Silverstone doesn’t have the worst facilities on the calendar, produces more exciting racing than many circuits by sheer virtue of the superiority of most its circuit (can’t wait for the Arrowhead) over others, especially the new Tilkedromes, has a fanatical crowd which can be guaranteed to max out capacity because of the two British WDCs, and on top of that all the history and heritage and being located in a country that is the home of many F1 teams and would be a world leader in the motor industry if it wasn’t for its *expletive* government.

      And yet Bernie still comes up with his nonsense when he doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Pure unadulterated greed. F1’s commercial policy is rotten to the core and mostly down to this rotten man.

  20. He’s created one of the biggest sports in the world, it’s a simple as that. He came into Formula 1, saw the potential and did us all a big favour by professionalising the sport and making it profitable for the competitors, thus guaranteeing it’s medium term sustainability.
    Now, I agree that he has gone too far by overdeveloping the sport to the point where the classic teams, races and circuits are being squeezed out and this is a problem that needs to be addressed because, as I said before, Formula 1 isn’t just a name, it’s the races that make up the Championship.
    But this is no reason to hate the man, he believes he’s acting in F1’s best interests by bringing the sport to new markets and generating revenues for the teams.
    The criticism is that he’s got the priorities confused and he’s gone too far. Malaysia and China: great additions from a commercial point of view; Abu Dhabi and Bahrain: unnecessary; France and maybe Britain losing out: tragedy.

    1. The fact that he owned one of the classic teams is reason enough to label him nuts. Its cos of his lust for money that we lost Brabham. I think age has caught up with him & he must retire decently.

      I was under the impression that all western products are outlawed in the Arabian world. So F1 is no exception. But Bernie shamelessly puts money before national pride & decides to go to Arabia. I love this sport & I want it back in the country I love!!!

      1. I was under the impression that all western products are outlawed in the Arabian world.

        What the hell are you on about?
        Taken by me.

        1. I would have been more impressed you had taken a pic of a scantily clad grid girl, but the coke is good too. lol

    2. he believes he’s acting in F1’s best interests by bringing the sport to new markets and generating revenues for the teams.

      or is that CVC’s best interests?

    3. But this is no reason to hate the man, he believes he’s acting in F1’s best interests

      It is often the do-gooders and self-righteous who cause the most damage to a cause!

      by bringing the sport to new markets

      Most of which treat is as a sideshow to attract tourists, places where it will take far longer to create an F1 tradition than is warranted by the massive expansion into these areas at the expense of established venues

      and generating revenues for the teams.

      Which he then nicks 50% of.

    4. He came into Formula 1, saw the potential and did us all a big favour by professionalising the sport and making it profitable for the competitors, thus guaranteeing it’s medium term sustainability.

      If its so profitable, then why have we seen teams drop out left right and centre?

  21. I’m just wondering.. What would happen to all that money? Where does it go? Not Ecclestone’s pockets.. What are Silverstone paying for?

    1. I’m guessing the teams share of profits, driver prizes and the likes. The FIA too?

      Then a big chunk goes back to FOM and its shareholders..

      1. It goes to pay off CVC’s debts that they took on when they bought the rights off Bernie.

        Which is odd as that means that Bernie’s sitting on a pile of money anyway. Bernie is of course hired by CVC to do their work (and that was probably part of the deal) but getting an extra £100m or so from Silverstone over 17 years isn’t really going to change much in respect of CVC’s debts. Bernie doesn’t need to stick to this deal, but, of course, he will.

        Power mad?

        1. How much debt is CVC still in despite all these new tracks that can easily pay Bernie’s fees?

  22. Well, what can we say.

    As most of us knew all along (right back to when Donington was awarded the contract safe in the knowledge they would not deliver)… Bernie will now get what he wants. No British GP and more money for him to do god knows what with for what price?

    I’m finding it very hard to not swear or use insults here.

  23. Update:

    Silverstone deadline set to pass without deal
    Friday 6 November at 08:31 : Nov.6 (GMM) The 48 hour deadline issued by Bernie Ecclestone is likely to pass without a deal for a 2010 British grand prix in place.

    It was reported earlier this week that the F1 chief executive was giving Silverstone bosses a “day or two” to sign his contract before the British race is pulled from next year’s calendar.

    The Times reports that the Northamptonshire track’s management was “surprised” by the ultimatum, which is now set to end.

    “Their puzzlement is such because they say Silverstone is waiting for Ecclestone to respond to amendments to the contract, not the other way round,” the London based newspaper said.

  24. Nice job by Damon to leak the numbers, pulled a page right off Max’s playbook, when Bernie is trying to him him/BRDC look the bad guys. If I run Silverstone the answer is certainly no, and don’t even need to waste a moment on it. The business plan that they have in place hasn’t factored in the GP for the next 17 years, so why saddle yourself with extra losses now?

  25. Sorry, but in the climate of everyone on F1 cutting budgets left right and center how can bernie think these kind of financial demands are appropriate?

  26. I think Keith hit the nail on the head in the article. Silverstone’s problem is that it is not ‘government funded’, pure and simple. The days of privately owned circuits hosting grands prix are long gone, they have simply been priced out of existence.
    When we look at circuits like Abu Dhabi, or next year’s proposed circuit in South Korea, it is totally way beyond anything a private organisation like the BRDC can come up with. The sword has two sides, and for Bernie Ecclestone, that also means keeping his new circuits happy. He knows that if he gives Silverstone too big a break, other circuits are hardly likely to want to pay his already inflated prices.
    For example, the Chinese event in Shanghai disclosed huge losses earlier this year, a circuit that enjoyed huge financial backing from Beijing when it opened in 2004. The list goes on and on, and extends to many European circuits also.
    For me, the real villians in this scandal is the British Government, who have never invested in Formula One since the day it began nearly sixty years ago. As Keith brilliantly pointed out, Westminster happily has invested in London 2012, and that huge ‘tent’ in East London which have both cost the British taxpayer billions in hard earnt money.
    The loss of Silverstone could quite easily fatally damage Britain’s role as a leading power in international motorsports forever. This goes far beyond national pride, but effects real jobs and real people that number in the thousands.

  27. I think in some ways we need a couple of years without a GB Grand Prix. So the government or whoever can actually build or at lest update a circuit that can compete (in terms of facilities) with other tracks.

    I mean lets face it. Wondering round Silverstone traversing the make shift toilets with the horrendous feeling that not only are you going to have to use them you are also going to have eat something from one of those vans and to top it off wash it down with a warm fosters Fosters that you probably half split cos the think that you used to carry four of them disintegrated.

    F1 markets itself as a glamorous and as such Silverstone, in its current state, doesn’t fit. So, as much as I dislike the little man he does have a point and hence why he tabled such a ludicrous contract.

  28. He is a greedy little troll, nay, a greedy little leprachaun trying to protect his little pot of gold. And I’m sure that that isn’t the only little thing about him.

  29. British GP out, Qatar GP in? I think so!!!

    This looks bleak.

  30. Very sad times for F1, boring tracks in obscure locations watched by people who know nothing of F1 while qouffing prawn sandwiches and compairing who`s got the most money, but what will happen to F1 when the money finds a new playgroud?, and dont believe for a second it wont happen. Least I`ve still got BTCC and Moto GP to look forward too. I think we`ve gotta face facts and accept that F1 is changing, personally F1 is losing its appeal to me as it is no longer about racing.

  31. That is an insane amount of money to host a race. Also dont the FIA get most of the hotel and other fees, so where do the tracks make the profits?

  32. Why will Bernie not put his hands into his pockets for once. He’s a billionaire for goodness sake and I’m sure earns much more than the asking amounts in interest alone.

    Brundle had a theory on the beebs F1 forum as to how he thought the negotiations might unfold. I can’t remember it exactly so wont repeat it and get it all wrong. Needless to say I’m desperately keeping my fingers crossed Silverstone will pull something out the bag but…

  33. Lets not over-analyse the situation regarding Silverstone and Ecclestone. It works like this inside Bernies mind. “We (CVC and Bernie) can make alot of money if we can get Silverstone to do this deal.” “We can control the race at Silverstone for years if we can get them to do this deal.” “Did I mention we can make alot of money if we can just get Silverstone to do this deal?” ……Cheers :-)

  34. Well that doesn’t look too good does it :-I

  35. Having read many of the above comments, I am seriously hoping that Slverstone and the BRDC don’t sign. There are many good events that it can host without making a loss, such as Moto GP, BTCC, and they could possibly spend some of their F1 expenditure in attracting IndyCars to Britain. That would gain a massive crowd too.

    I care about what’s best for Silverstone, not F1. I am sick and tired of Bernie ripping us off, and the French, and the Germans, and the Belgians, and the Americans, and the Canadians, and the Australians, and the Italians.

    Those who seem not to be bothered are the Spanish, Monegasque, Malaysians, Bahrainians and the Abu Dhabites (?).

    The sooner Ecclestone and CVC Capital Partners are out of the equation the better. Unfortuantely that won’t be until a very long time.

    The repercussions of not having a Britsh GP will be huge: I suspect the teams will boycott many races, drivers may strike, and I reckon someone like Martin Brundle would quit in protest. It really is a sad state of affairs.

    1. BTW, Monco is free. They don’t get charged. Bernie has stated that, “Monaco brings much more to us than we bring to Monaco.” Go figure. Who says he doesn’t have a soft spot! :-)

  36. Well Bernie strikes again – amazing – its a pity another contract wasnt put forward – its the little guy glasses – £50,000 in readies ok? – and when? – only kidding Keith – he’s the biggest shark in the pond and would scare any other gangster.

  37. I think they should talk the deal for now. Cause most likely in 8 to 10 years bernie will keel over and then the rip off is over and then formula 1 is saved.

  38. He just taking too much money from the sport. I remember a while ago the teams wanted more money from the cvc but bernie said no. Cause he taking almost 70% of the profit from F1. He is just as bad as the Ceo of the corporations like Enron and tyco.

  39. Some extra figures:

    Whilst inflation is currently low the financial markets aren’t expecting it to remain low. Using figures on the Bank Of England’s website the markets expect inflation over the new 17 years to be average 3.5% per annum – so 7% is high but not as bad as you might expect. Using the figures from the bank of england then the I reckon the real value (ie. allowing for future inflation) is around £269m or £15.8m a year – still high but maybe not terrible.

    If you view the whole lot as an investment in government bonds (often said to be a risk free investment) then the present value is around £249.5m or around £14.7m a year.

    I’m not saying the contact is cheap. However, if we ignore the future inflation (or investment returns) then it will definitely look expensive.

  40. Time to draw the line in the sand. Better to have no race then be held hostage to extortionate fee demands. I have confidence that the BRDC will do the right thing and tell Bernie to stick his contract proposal where the sun doesn’t shine.

  41. The BRDC is (as far as I know) a members club and therefore must have trustees who are responsible for safeguarding the members’ financial interests.

    It could be argued that it would actually be criminal for them to agree a deal that would probably bankrupt the club in a few year’s time. If they sign and try to back out after a few years they would be sued by Bernie etc. for millions and millions.

    What we actually need is more good motorsport on television, not necessarily F1. Most other racing is much more exciting than F1 except that we have not learnt who the drivers are and so do not know who to support!

    Who’s going to promote some other dividion properly?

  42. I am not from UK (Poland) and have to admit you are lucky to have several champions, now back-to-back.
    You have several racing track within UK and it is quite easy to attend F1 race for you.
    Now you are in danger that f1 will withdraw from UK.

    The hell he must be crazy to request £370m !!!
    I wish FOTA will withdraw from $$BernieF1 circus.
    Don’t get on your knees and do not accept this offer from that *******!

  43. How did this story finish? One day is over..

  44. we all Mr ECCLESTONE that F1 STARTED in Britain & if there is no British G.P then there should be no G.P,s at all

  45. Let’s face it; none of this wrangling is about what’s good for F1, or for the British Grand Prix. This is only about what’s good for Bernie Ecclestone. If it was, Silverstone would have been off the calendar a long time ago in favour of much more interesting tracks like Donnington or Brands.

  46. Do we know any more yet?

    I need to know……..

  47. Silverstone should not mortgage its future for the benefit of staging a once per year event, Let BE/CVC take their race to another desert camp, the world fans would loose interest and Circuits like Silverstone would eventually be reinstated.

    Silverstone should say: NO thank you, wish BE/CVC well and Good bye!

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