Hill calls for Silverstone patience

Damon Hill believes patience is the key if Silverstone is to secure the long-term future of the British Grand Prix.

British Racing Drivers' Club president Hill was part of a three-strong Silverstone delegation in Abu Dhabi over the weekend hopeful of concluding a deal with Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone.



Ecclestone, who turned 79 last Wednesday, met with Silverstone Holdings chairman Neil England and managing director Richard Phillips.



However, although hopes were high after Donington Park's bid fell by the wayside, no agreement was reached and negotiations remain ongoing.



Hill concedes the frenzied spectacle of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was hardly the ideal backdrop to conducting talks.



At least, though, the ball is rolling as he said: "The groundwork has been done and it's best to see what evolves now.



"There was a lot of excitement when the opportunity came back and Bernie said he was prepared to discuss the situation.



"We did go over to Abu Dhabi to try and get a deal done, but the distraction of the weekend meant it was not the right time.



"I'm not despondent, though. What will be will be. I've pretty much always taken that view.



"So we'll let the dust settle and see what happens over the next week or so."



Time is naturally of the essence as Silverstone would ordinarily have enjoyed over four months of ticket selling by now.



Hill knows from experience, though, that Ecclestone cannot be rushed on such matters and he will mull over the situation in his own time.



"It will be a shame if Bernie does let it drag on," added the 1996 world champion.



"As a business Silverstone has kept itself primed and expecting to look to a renewal of its grand prix contract.



"It's geared up to run a grand prix, and the longer that goes on, the more damaging it is to that business without a contract.



"So we would very much like to get something sorted as soon as possible, but clearly Bernie is not in a hurry, he can wait.



"We can't force him. We just have to be patient because there are some things beyond your control, and this is probably beyond our control.



"All you can do is try your best and we'll see what unfolds.



"Bernie has controlled this (F1) for years, and nothing has changed there."

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