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Newz Forum: AUTO: Bernie Ecclestone saves the British Grand Prix

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posted on Apr, 20 2004 @ 04:21 PM
Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has acquired the rights to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Ecclestone has long been a critic of the circuit, but has used his own money to upgrade its facilities and has now taken control of the race itself. His Formula One Administration company is being paid 51.8m to take over the event from US-based Interpublic, which wants out of owning motorsport venues.

It remains to be seen whether cash from the deal will be spent at Silverstone.However, track owners the British Racing Drivers' Club welcomed the news and said they expected the race to continue to be held at the Northamptonshire venue. Sir Jackie Stewart believes Bernie Ecclestone's agreement to take back rights to the British Grand Prix could be good news for Silverstone.Stewart, a three-time world champion in his driving days, is president of the British Racing Drivers' Club which owns Silverstone, the grand prix's permanent home since 1987.The Scot believes Tuesday's development could be good news, particularly since Interpublic had held back investment in the track after deciding some time ago to step aside from motorsport.

Interpublic breathed a collective sigh of relief after disposing of their Formula One obligations, which they claim would have cost them another 250million over the next 11 years.The company invested heavily in British motorsport in the 1990s, buying several circuits and adding the grand prix rights in a bid to hold the race at Brands Hatch.That never materialised and a lease agreement to hold the race at Silverstone prompted heavy losses.

[Edited on 20/4/04 by TRD]


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