The British Racing Drivers' Club and F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone have brokered a five-year deal to continue staging the British Grand Prix at the Silverstone track.

The British Racing Drivers' Club and F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone have brokered a five-year deal to continue staging the British Grand Prix at the Silverstone track.

The deal was signed ahead of the FIA releasing its final version of the 2005 F1 calendar. The future of the British race was questioned when it was left off the provisional calendar released in October.

Ecclestone and the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) had earlier reached a stalemate over the original seven-year agreement. He wanted a one-year deal renewable over six seasons, while the BRDC preferred a two-year initial contract, renewable over five seasons.

"I genuinely thought we were going to lose it," BRDC president Jackie Stewart said. "The deal that was struck is affordable and we anticipate we will develop the land.

"In the short term we will continue where we are since the course is one of the best. The pit and paddock facilities are good enough, although not as architecturally exciting as (those in) Shanghai, Bahrain and Malaysia."

Stewart said Ecclestone "never really wanted to lose the British Grand Prix" and was very cooperative in the end. But, he added, the BRDC’s main priority was ensuring that no money was lost.

The club plans to sell off land in order to raise finances needed to bring the circuit up to modern standards.

After the deal, Ecclestone said: "If they want to improve (the circuit and its facilities), they will. If they are not improved by the time the contract runs out, it won't be renewed."