Silverstone Signs 17-Year Deal For British Grand Prix

After lingering in limbo for months, Silverstone, the site of the first ever Formula One Grand Prix is back on the calendar in a 17-year deal as the location of the British Grand Prix.

This year’s British Grand Prix was supposed to be Silverstone’s swan song and the theatrics of the yearlong telenovela that was the 2009 Formula One season were certainly in synch with the drama: it was the weekend when Formula One appeared to suddenly die.

Silverstone Signs 17-Year Deal For British Grand Prix

It was also the weekend that marked the end of Jenson Button’s domination, as his young rival Sebastian Vettel powered away to a win.

Donington Park was set to host the British Grand Prix from 2010 on, but its promoters have failed to secure the funds to do so and were stripped of the rights to host the race.

Silverstone, a former airstrip which first held a Grand Prix in 1948 and was the site of the first Formula One race in 1950, is now back for at least five years, as Damon Hill—president of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, Silverstone’s owner—and Bernie Ecclestone have come to an agreement.

Meanwhile, secure in his burrow, Silverstone Bunny is celebrating this wonderful turn of events with a mighty bottle of carrot champagne.

In case you were wondering about the man on fire, it’s Brabham BMW’s Andrea de Cesaris in the process of rupturing his fuel line during the 1987 F1 race at Silverstone.

Photo Credit: Chris Cole/Allsport, Pascal Rondeau/Allsport