F1 commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone has urged Silverstone to agree to a deal which will secure the future of the British Grand Prix, stating that the venue should 'go and buy a pen' to speed up the deal.
With Donington Park's hopes of hosting the race now dead in the water after the venue failed to raise the funding required for its extensive redevelopment work, Silverstone has been offered the chance to take up the 17-year long deal that had been offered to Simon Gillett to take the event to the East Midlands venue.
Talks between Ecclestone and the BRDC appear to have stalled over details of the proposed contract, with Silverstone's owners adamant that any deal must be commercially viable; with a lack of viability being a key reason why the race was offered to Donington Park in the first place.
However, while he admitted he would be upset if the British Grand Prix didn't take place in 2010, Ecclestone insisted that Silverstone wouldn't be offered a cut-price deal to secure its future and that offer on the table was better than other circuits had in place.
“We've been negotiating for far too long,” he told BBC Sport
. “That deal is better than anybody else's deal anyway, so if they don't like it, it's okay. They have a contract if they want to sign it. I'd be delighted. If they don't want to sign it, its okay.”
Ecclestone also warned that improvements would need to be made for Silverstone to host the event long-term.
“People will start to understand when they see these sort of things [the Yas Marina circuit], what we've been complaining about with Silverstone and Magny-Cours and all those places,” he said. “It's not just here but everywhere that has raised the standard so much higher.
“It's not just a case of Silverstone signing the contract and paying. They must raise the standard.”
When asked how Silverstone could speed up the agreement of a deal to secure the British GP, Ecclestone wryly replied; “They need to go and buy a pen.”