Silverstone chiefs will wait until early next year before deciding on which layout the 2010 British Grand Prix will take place on.
The Northamptonshire venue is undergoing a £40 million ($66m) revamp as part of an upgrade originally planned for MotoGP – with a completely new layout being built in the middle part of the circuit. The plan is for this new "Arena" circuit – so called because of the great views it is intended to offer fans – to be used for the Formula 1 race as well.
Silverstone's managing director Richard Phillips revealed at a press conference on Monday that the circuit had applied to the FIA for homologation for the new layout, with the hope being that it will get the green light for next year's race.
"There is an awful lot going on," explained Phillips, who said the new circuit should be finished by March. "The FIA have been to see it, and it is being submitted for homologation.
"We are hopeful that we will be using the new 'Arena' circuit next summer. But we have still got the original circuit as well, so if we cannot get it to the right stage in time then we will be running on the current GP circuit."
Phillips also said that once the new pits complex was ready, it would offer the chance for a greater capacity at the event: "The Arena has potential to increase once we build the new pits, because the Paddock Club will move. In 2010 the Paddock Club is in an odd position so it will be difficult to let the public into that area."
Phillips confirmed that if the Arena layout is used next year, the current start-finish line will be kept – with it only being moved when the new facilities are ready.
"I would love to run the Arena circuit because I think it will be incredible," he said. "It is keeping the best of the original circuit, but it is much safer because of the changes we are making for the bikes."