Silverstone will host the British Grand Prix until at least the end of 2024 after agreeing a new five-year deal with Formula 1.
The Northamptonshire circuit’s contract was due to run out at the end of this year after triggering a release cause in its previous agreement signed under ex-F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone in 2009 two years ago.
A lengthy period of meetings had failed to result in Silverstone committing to a new deal, leading to rumours Liberty Media were keen to stage as race in London to save the British Grand Prix from extinction.
The deal has been struck on the eve of this year’s race, with an expected increase on last year’s record attendance figures after welcoming over 340,000 fans in 2018.
Silverstone hosted the first-ever F1 world championship event in 1950, staging over 50 races in its long association with the sport, only eclipsed by Monaco and Monza.
“We are really pleased to confirm that the British Grand Prix will stay on the FIA Formula 1 World Championship calendar for at least the next five years, with the event remaining at its longstanding home, Silverstone circuit,” said Chase Carey, Chairman and CEO, Formula 1.
“We have always said that, if it is to have a long-term future, our sport must preserve its historic venues and Silverstone and Great Britain represent the cradle of this sport, its starting point back in 1950.
“Today, Formula 1 is a global sport, held on five continents, watched by an audience of over 500 million fans around the world and our aim is to grow this number by bringing the sport we love to new countries, while also maintaining its roots: Silverstone and the British Grand Prix are an integral part of that vision.”
John Grant, Chairman of the BRDC, added: “Silverstone is one of the most iconic Grands Prix on the F1 calendar and with such a rich heritage it would have been disastrous for the sport and fans had we not managed to find a way forward.
“2020 will be the 70th anniversary of the first round of the World Championship which took place at Silverstone on 13th May 1950 and will make next year’s event all the more special. This is great news for the BRDC, Silverstone and Formula 1 – and for millions of British motor racing fans.”
Silverstone securing its long-term future leaves three European circuits without contracts for 2020. Monza is expected to pen an extension but Germany and Spain remain doubtful.