Silverstone’s hopes of retaining a Formula One Grand Prix received a major boost

 

There is hope for Silverstone yet

Sunday 24th February 2008

Silverstone’s hopes of retaining a Formula One grand prix received a major boost thanks to improved financial figures.

Bernie Ecclestone has repeatedly warned that facilities must be upgraded at the circuit if it is to continue hosting F1 races.

The Independent reports that Silverstone made £13.6m in gross profits and after-tax earnings of £1.3m in its latest financial statement (2005-2006).

The figures show a significant turnaround as the track made a £2.6m loss the previous year.

The embattled circuit, which is owned by the British Racing Drivers’ Club, recently made headlines when the local authority approved a £25m redevelopment plan.

The proposal includes the construction a new pit and paddock complex, a test centre, business park, two hotels, a university campus, and some new homes near the circuit.

Sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe has also thrown his weight behind the plans to improve the Northamptonshire track.

This comes after Ecclestone questioned the British government’s commitment to hosting F1 racing and threatened to pull the plug on the British Grand Prix due to poor infrastructure.

The Independent also claims that Silverstone pays £8.5m to stage the race while other circuits pay up to £20m, another factor that could contribute to F1’s supremo seeking a more lucrative (Asian) venue.

The latest financial figures could appease Ecclestone as most grands prix fail to break even – let alone make a profit as Silverstone has.

The remarkable rise of Lewis Hamilton means that the 2007 accounts could be even better as last year’s race attracted record crowds.

©2006 – 365 Media Group

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