Silverstone in fresh talks to stage race

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The Independent Online

Bernie Ecclestone, who holds the commercial rights to Formula One, and Max Mosley, the president of the FIA, motorsport's governing body, say they would both be happy to see the British Racing Drivers' Club run a non-championship F1 race at Silverstone next year, if the race cannot be rescued as part of the package of radical changes proposed by nine of the 10 teams in Brazil on Saturday.

In the Seventies the circuit ran a non-championship International Trophy, and Brands Hatch hosted the Race of Champions. "They could run a non-championship event and the British teams would go anyway," Mosley said yesterday. "The continental teams would probably go too. They could have two days of practice and race on Sunday. They could even call it the British Grand Prix because the RAC owns the title. We would agree if they asked to stage such a race."

The BRDC chairman, Ray Bellm, indicated cautious interest, but Sam Michael, the technical director of Williams-BMW, said: "It would be difficult because of the extra expense involved in a race that would not be part of the world championship. I'm not sure that could be justified and that's why we no longer have the Race of Champions or the winter Tasman series." Alex Hooton, the chief executive of Silverstone, said talks over the future of the British GP had restarted. "We are on talking terms with Ecclestone," he said. "We have talked money for quite some time with him and we're pretty close to resolving that."