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Silverstone contract extension set to be announced

A news conference, expected to confirm that the British Grand Prix has been saved, is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. Credit: PA

A news conference, expected to confirm that the British Grand Prix has been saved, is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Formula One boss Chase Carey, Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle, and British Racing Drivers' Club chairman John Grant, are poised to announce a contract extension at the Northamptonshire track in a press call at 2pm.

The news is set to bring an end to a two-year saga, sparked when Silverstone triggered a release clause in 2017 in the hope of brokering a better deal.

Sunday's race was set to be the last unless a new arrangement could be found.

Silverstone's former deal, agreed with ex F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, included a five per cent annual increase, taking the hosting fee to £26million by 2026.

It is understood that the financial side of a new agreement was agreed some time ago, with the last few days spent working on ironing out the final details.

Both F1 and Silverstone have worked around the clock to ensure the future of the sport's oldest race is secured before the doors are thrown open for this weekend's event.

Silverstone are expecting a record crowd in excess of 140,000 for Sunday's race.

Britain's five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton holds a 31-point lead over Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas ahead of his home race.

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Hamilton fastest again at Silverstone as Ericsson crashes

World champion Lewis Hamilton waves to his fans. Credit: PA

Home favourite Lewis Hamilton led the way in final practice for the British Grand Prix as Marcus Ericsson walked away unscathed from a huge shunt.

While Hamilton, quickest in both sessions at Silverstone on Friday, topped the timesheets once more - his best lap just 0.063 seconds faster than Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg - the one-hour session was heavily disrupted following Ericsson's crash.

With 20 minutes remaining, the Swedish driver lost control of his Sauber on the exit of Stowe before hitting the inside barrier head-on at high speed.

The force of the impact saw Ericsson sustain significant damage to his Sauber, but the 25-year-old walked away from the accident. The red flags were immediately deployed and Ericsson was given a once-over by medical staff at the scene of the crash.

While he appeared fine, his participation in qualifying later on Saturday is in doubt following the damage sustained to his car.

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