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Brawn holds out hope for Silverstone's future

British Grand Prix, Silverstone a great acquisition for F1 - Brown
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Formula 1's director of motorsport Ross Brawn has said he remains hopeful about the "bright future" of Silverstone.

The circuit currently hosts the British Grand Prix. However, the escalating costs of staging the event led to the organisers last year activating a 'break clause' in their contract with Formula 1.

That means the current deal will now end after 2019. Unless an alternative venue can be found, it means there will be no British GP in 2020.

"I think Silverstone has a really bright future as part of Formula 1," Brawn told BBC Look East this week.

"We've obviously got the topic of the race coming up," he said. "But we're very optimistic we'll find the correct solution between ourselves and the circuit for the future."

While lacking details, it's the most upbeat comment yet from F1's new commercial rights holders, Liberty Media.

Silverstone's existing contract had been agreed with former CEO Bernie Ecclestone. It included a year-on-year hike in the costs paid by the circuit to Formula 1.

Despite the event being a sell-out every year thanks to Lewis Hamilton's success and popularity with home fans, these numbers no longer added up.

Silverstone's owners, the British Racing Drivers Club, said it could no longer afford to continue with the contract under the current spiralling terms.

While sympathetic to the BRDC's position, Liberty said it couldn't reopen negotiations on an existing deal. It fears that doing so will only prompt other circuits to try the same strategy to renegotiate their own contracts.

Without the annual Grand Prix as its focus, there are concerns that Silverstone's place at the heart of motorsport in the UK is in jeopardy.

However, Brawn said he was confident that Silverstone would survive whatever happened with the race.

"There's a technical centre here, there's a school here, there's lots of businesses getting based here," he said.

"It's great to see Silverstone prosper," Brawn added. "It's had some tough times in the past but I think it's on an upward trajectory."

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