The future of the British Grand Prix has been secured after Formula 1 chiefs confirmed that a new five-year contract has been concluded.
Its status beyond 2019 had been in doubt for the last two years but ahead of this weekend’s event a new agreement, which had been widely expected, was made public during a press conference on Wednesday.
It means Silverstone will retain its place on the 2020 calendar, which is expected to feature 21 events, with the Netherlands and Vietnam joining the roster.
Liberty Media has yet to publish a provisional schedule as it continues negotiations with organisers in Spain and Germany, but it is thought unlikely that either event will be retained.
Feature: What does Silverstone's renewal mean for 2020?
Britain has been a mainstay on the Formula 1 calendar throughout the 69-year history of the World Championship, with Silverstone hosting the inaugural race in 1950.
Silverstone alternated hosting duties with Aintree (in the 1950s and early 1960s) and Brands Hatch (1963-1986), with the converted airfield visited by the sport biennially.
Silverstone has been the permanent host of the British Grand Prix since 1987 and in 2009 agreed a 17-year extension with Formula 1 chiefs, after plans for the event to move to Donington Park fell through.
But that contract included an escalating fee and Silverstone’s owners, the British Racing Drivers’ Club, could not afford to keep the event for the duration of the contract.
That fee was in the region of £12m during the first year of the contract in 2010 but was expected to reach approximately £25m by the mid-2020s.
A break clause inserted in the original deal gave the BRDC the right to relinquish the event after 2019 if it was triggered prior to 2017 event, and that action was duly taken.
The BRDC remained hopeful that an agreement could be reached with Formula 1 owners Liberty Media, with Britain lacking an alternative viable venue; Motorsport Week understands that Brands Hatch was briefly scouted but quickly ruled out. London’s Docklands area was evaluated and remains a potential long-term target.
Unlike in the Bernie Ecclestone-led era, Formula 1 and Silverstone rarely kept a running commentary during the two-year period since the break clause was activated, opting to keep negotiations to private channels.
Silverstone’s renewal means four current events – Italy, Germany, Mexico and Spain – are without 2020 deals.
Italy has signed a pre-agreement while Mexico is also expected to finalise a new deal before the end of the year.