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British Grand Prix deal seen imminent
May 22, 2004 14:32 IST
A deal to secure the immediate future of the troubled British Formula One Grand Prix is imminent, world motor sport head Max Mosley said on Friday.
"I believe that a deal has either been done or is very close to being done which will assure the Grand Prix for 2005 and 2006," the International Automobile Federation (FIA) president told a Monaco Grand Prix news conference.
The race's future has been uncertain since U.S. advertising giant Interpublic paid Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone to take back the promotional rights.
Ecclestone has said he has no intention of promoting the race himself and has called for substantial renovation at the Silverstone circuit, the former World War Two airfield which hosted the first Formula One Grand Prix in 1950.
Mosley said he believed a new pit and paddock complex would be built and credited the British government with playing a major role.
"Obviously they are not in a position to dole out masses of public money but they are in a position to use their influence and they've done that in all sorts of areas and as a result I think it's very likely that it will happen," he said.
"The best evidence is that it is going to be sorted out. The chances of having some sort of Grand Prix in London is about nil. But I think Silverstone will be alright".
BBC radio had quoted Ecclestone, who has been a vocal critic of Silverstone's facilities and the British Racing Drivers' Club that owns the circuit, as refusing to rule out the possibility of a race in London.
Several Formula One drivers, including Briton Jenson Button, are due to perform a demonstration run down the capital's central Regent Street on July 6 before the British Grand Prix the following weekend.
Formula One: The Complete Coverage