The British Grand Prix will remain at Silverstone for 15 years from 2002 following the cementing of a major commercial partnership between the British Racing Drivers’ Club and Octagon, owners of the Brands Hatch Leisure Group.
The deal, which is subject to the approval of BRDC members at an EGM on December 18, will open the way for massive investment at Silverstone including a new Formula One pits complex on Hangar Straight, new access roads and new corporate hospitality facilities.
“Silverstone will change beyond all recognition. The vision is to make Silverstone the world’s best motorsport facility,” said a spokesman. The agreement centres around Octagon taking a 15-year lease on Silverstone, with the BRDC retaining ownership of the venue. The BRDC will receive a multi-million pound fee each year and will continue to focus on promoting the sport, notably young drivers. It is expected that the BRDC members will approve the deal as it satisfies the key criteria previously set out.
“It’s a win-win situation,” says Martin Brundle who, along with Ron Dennis, led the negotiations on behalf of the BRDC. “We get a slug of money to develop the circuit into the venue we want it to be and we keep the Grand Prix while somebody else pays for it.” Although many details are yet to emerge, it is thought that the deal safeguards the future of club and national racing as well as classic and historic events at Silverstone, including the International Historic Festival. PL
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