The Reuters global sports blog
It is not by any means something that can be taken for granted in Formula One, but commonsense seems to have prevailed at last.
Silverstone’s deal with Bernie Ecclestone for the circuit to host the British Grand Prix for the next 17 years makes sense on so many levels and yet has been tougher to resolve than any of the controversies and scandals of recent years.
It is to be hoped that one of the longest running, and most tedious, sagas has now ended although that is probably too much to hope in a sport constantly making headlines.
“Bernie’s a driven man, he always wants better,” said Damon Hill, 1996 champion and president of the circuit-owning BRDC, with a resigned smile after announcing the deal on Monday. ”So I’m sure he will be looking to keep us on our toes”.
While the Formula One world champion faces the difficult decision of whether to go to McLaren on six million pounds a year or stay with Brawn/Mercedes for what still amounts to a salary of lottery proportions, other drivers are not so fortunate.
With the departure of leading manufacturers and the effects of the global credit crunch, next year’s starting grid will see the return in numbers of a once familiar species that has been almost extinct in recent years — the paying driver.
Jenson Button needs at most six points to clinch the Formula One title in Brazil this weekend and become Britain’s 10th world champion.
If he does wrap it up at Interlagos, a debate that has been going on for some weeks now will only pick up speed — just how does the 29-year-old rate as a champion compared to all the others?