Silverstone chiefs set to confirm British GPdeal

SILVERSTONE chiefs are today expected to confirm they have safeguarded the future of the British Grand Prix by clinching a fresh deal to stage the iconic race.<br /><br />The event has been in danger of being struck off the Formula One calendar following the collapse of Donington&rsquo;s contract to stage it.<br /><br />That left Silverstone, home of the race since 1987, as the most viable option and, following Sunday reports that agreement has been reached, officials from the Northamptonshire track will today hold a news conference.<br /><br />Any contract is likely to be for around 10 years and comes after weeks of fraught negotiations between the British Racing Drivers Club, which owns Silverstone, and motorsport chiefs.<br /><br />Donington appeared to have pulled off a coup in June when they struck a 17-year deal to host the race, only to fail to raise the necessary funding to redevelop the circuit. World champion Jenson Button yesterday welcomed suggestions a deal had at last been struck. <br /><br />&ldquo;It&rsquo;s fantastic news not only for British fans but for the sport as a whole,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;A season without the British Grand Prix was unthinkable. I now know I&rsquo;ll be racing in the UK as part of my title defence, which I cannot wait for.&rdquo;