May 23 (GMM) A boss of the British grand prix venue Silverstone has denied Bernie Ecclestone's claim that talks about a new contract for 2010 are akin to a "dead duck".
Apart from needing to agree to a new $22m promoters' fee, which would increase in cost by 5 per cent every year, the F1 chief executive said from Monte Carlo on Wednesday that he would "not put any money" on the Northamptonshire circuit getting its requisite new pit and paddock complex finished any time soon.But Silverstone's development director, Spencer Canning, responded in the pages of the local Northampton Chronicle and Echo newspaper that talks with Ecclestone's company are still being held.He also said work on the new $70m pit and paddock complex could begin in October."We do still have ongoing discussions with formula one management (FOM)," Canning said."Nobody from FOM has told us anything other than we are still involved in ongoing talks and that they like the proposals we have for the new pit and paddock."We're still fully behind wanting to keep the grand prix and our full focus is on that," he added.Canning also seemed to reject Ecclestone's observation that there is only six months remaining for Silverstone to finalise the talks."It could go all the way through to autumn next year," he said."If all goes well work could start at the track in October this year. If we started it in October it should be finished by early spring 2010."So everything's ready to go, the only thing we don't have at the moment is the money."