Despite being included on the provisional F1 calendar for 2005, the British Grand Prix has been scrapped because F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone “can do nothing more” to save the historic race.

Despite being included on the provisional F1 calendar for 2005, the British Grand Prix has been scrapped because F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone “can do nothing more” to save the historic race.


According to , “Silverstone's inability to react to the fast pace of modern business means that it has lost out to one of the nations clamouring to climb on to the sports calendar of increasingly exotic locations”.


Ecclestone was quoted as saying that he had had to end the talks on Silverstone to guarantee the new event, for which promoters were ready and willing to meet his terms, the daily said.


F1’s controversial ringmaster had to give up attempts to save the race, because he had a new offer on the table from a consortium that needed an answer immediately.


"What could I do?" he said. "I have got an offer from another country that is looking to build a lovely venue and invest a lot of money in Formula One and they will pay the going rate."


"I have to give them a year’s notice to go ahead. If I miss that because I am still messing about with the British Racing Drivers’ Club, I would be keeping out a country that desperately wants to be in the F1 World Championship."


What started as an argument over price boiled down to what Ecclestone said was a series of nit-picking disputes with his terms, the newspaper said.


But Stewart said Ecclestone had already been paid for rights to the British GP through to 2010. "He has already been paid in full for the British Grand Prix through 2010 by the previous promoters," Stewart told .


Ecclestone owns the commercial rights to the British GP after US advertising giant Interpublic paid him 93 million dollars to end its commitments. But he has said he will not promote the race himself and the BRDC has yet to agree a deal to redevelop Silverstone which Ecclestone has demanded.


Stewart insisted the race's future was "still very much under discussion" and accused Ecclestone of going back on a commitment he made to Sports Minister Richard Caborn. "Bernie Ecclestone did commit to Richard Caborn that he would commit to a two-year contract in order to allow us to the situation we need to develop the land," Stewart said. "He's now walked away, I understand, from that commitment, which is unusual. We need to get down again to negotiations and I think the minister needs to join in."


Silverstone has been given a provisional date of July 3 on next year's draft schedule but a commercial deal must be agreed before the race is confirmed. A final calendar is due to be issued on December 10. CARtoday.com reported earlier that Britain is one of three races along with France and San Marino who have yet to reach a deal with Ecclestone for next year.

Ecclestone is limited to 17 Grands Prix a year by contract with the teams and must trim his draft calendar of 19 if he is to avoid a costly pay-out. This year he had a multi-million dollar bill for paying the teams to participate in an 18th race.

"As much as I would like to have a British Grand Prix, I have done more than I have for any other race in the world to try to keep it on," Ecclestone said. "But I cannot make a deal without the other side and I have to move on. What more can anyone do? The BRDC want everything their way. Business life is not like that."