Ecclestone tried to buy Silverstone

Ecclestone tried to buy Silverstone

Former Formula 1 chief Bernie Ecclestone was keen to buy the Silverstone track, but when he made enquiries, was told the circuit was not for sale.

The revelation is significant as the future of the British Grand Prix is in doubt after the 2019 race.

When asked for his thoughts on the British GP beyond 2019, Ecclestone said: “It would be nice to have one”.

“They could do a deal there, but I think they’ll have to come up with some sort of an idea of sharing the losses. Or profits, or whatever.

“They must be comfortable, Silverstone. I asked them if they wanted to sell because I would have bought it, and they didn’t want to sell. They were not interested.

“We could have had the race, obviously. Anyway, they don’t want to sell, so they’re comfortable.

“They’re not desperate, but they’ve got to have an F1 race.”

When asked what he planned to do with the Silverstone if he got it, he said: “I wouldn’t have been directly involved as such.”

The British Racing Drivers Club, owners of the Silverstone track did not comment on Ecclestone’s claim.

In case the historic track breaks away from F1, the series is planning to host a street race in London because it believes the desire for such a race is very strong. F1 boss Chase Carey believes the overwhelming response to the live event in 2017 is proof for the demand.

Talking about a street race in London, Ecclestone believes it is not a viable plan. The former F1 boss had explored the idea some time ago and found it unworkable.

“We looked at it. We looked at the whole thing, about eight or 10 years ago,” he said.

“It’s too complicated, with too many restrictions.

“I had the whole thing laid out for the centre of London, past Buckingham Palace, everything was done.

“During the meetings, I tried to explain to the City of Westminster and the mayor at the time that we’ve got to find the money to do this. And in the end, let’s see how much money you’re prepared to put in.

“Between the two people that made a difference, it was £3million.

“I said, ‘That will probably cover the cost of the mineral water for the hundreds of meetings we’ll have to have. So, I think we’ll forget that’.”

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