While Bernie Ecclestone, Damon Hill and others responsible for negotiating Formula One's return to Silverstone attempt to hammer out a deal for 2010, support for the British round has received support from an unexpected quarter.

The future of the race remains uncertain following Ecclestone's confirmation that Donington Park's bid to snatch a long-term deal had foundered along with promoter Simon Gillett's search for the finance needed to revamp the venue, but BMW Sauber driver Nick Heidfeld insists that Britain has to remain on the calendar.

"It looks like the future of F1 is where the money is," the German admitted to Reuters on the eve of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, one of the monied venues added to the schedule in recent years.

"I hope that, as it is a world championship, we will go to many different countries but, definitely, from a driver's view, we have to stay in England. I think there must be a race in Britain, as most of the teams are based there and it's where the home of motorsport is."

Heidfeld also revealed that he would not oppose an increase in the calendar if it meant that both new and old hosts could be included in future seasons.

"I'm happy to see more races," he insisted, "I think 20 races, for me, would not be a problem if we go to new and different venues."