Reports: Silverstone Circuit sold

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Reports have emerged in the last twenty-four hours stating that Silverstone Circuit, home of the British Grand Prix, has been sold in order to allow a development programme to begin at the complex.

The track has undergone numerous changes in the past five years after almost losing the hosting rights for the race to Donington Park. However, after financial problems dogged Donington’s efforts to host a grand prix for the first time since 1993, Silverstone underwent a large development programme that saw the construction of a start/finish straight, and an alteration of the layout to make the track longer. As a result, the circuit held on to the rights to host the British Grand Prix, but of late financial problems have hindered any hopes of development.

However, this appears to have been resolved thanks to the sale of the circuit, which was confirmed by a source within the British Racing Drivers’ Club to The Independent.

“A deal has been done on Silverstone,” the source revealed. “I don’t know who bought it and I don’t know what the terms are, but it is absolutely categoric that a deal has been done and not due to be announced until next month probably.”

The deal is thought to allow an extensive upgrade in facilities take place, with Silverstone still lagging behind many of its European rivals such as the Nurburgring and the Red Bull Ring in Austria, with the latter joining the calendar next season.

Alonso would be ‘very happy’ to finish F1 career with McLaren

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Fernando Alonso says he would be “very happy” to see out his Formula 1 career with McLaren after signing a new multi-year contract with the British team, announced on Thursday.

Alonso, 36, ended speculation about his future by agreeing a new deal with McLaren, hopeful of returning to the front of the field next year when the team swaps Honda power for Renault engines.

Alonso admitted to considering options outside of F1 before agreeing to stay at McLaren, and was thought to only be chasing a one-year extension in order to be in a position to snap up a more attractive seat in the volatile 2019 market.

However, Alonso confirmed in an interview with the official F1 website that the deal with McLaren stretched beyond the end of next year, adding he would be content to see out his time in the sport with the team.

“I never talk about contracts, but one thing I can say is it is a long-term partnership,” Alonso said.

“I am very happy to finish my career at McLaren. So I don’t think it is going to be only one year.”

Alonso also revealed he had options with teams high up the field in F1 for 2018 just a couple of months ago, but was always leaning to staying at McLaren despite not scoring a podium with the team in almost three years.

“There were some other options in F1. In the summer there were still some options at the top teams, but my desire was to stay with McLaren,” Alonso said.

“But at that time they were in conversation with different engine suppliers, so I had to give them time to sort out their situation.

“Then McLaren opted for a Renault engine which delayed my decision, because I had to understand what Renault’s plans were for next years.

“But when I had everything on the table, everything was pretty clear.”