The Silverstone Wing, one of the BRDC's recent Silverstone developments that have left them with debts of around £12 million

The Silverstone Wing, one of the BRDC's recent Silverstone developments that have left them with debts of around £12 million, photo courtesy of Silverstone Circuits Limited

Qatari investors who seemed likely to agree terms for a lease on Silverstone with the BRDC (who own the Silverstone Circuit through their company Silverstone Circuits Ltd) have it seems pulled out or simply been unable to agree terms, the British Racing Driver’s Club are therefore now looking elsewhere.

It had been reported last summer that the BRDC had already granted a 100 year lease for the Silverstone circuit, this would have been great news: potentially securing the future of the British Grand Prix and allowing for the development of the circuit to continue. It is now though clear that this lease is yet to be signed and the BRDC need to find funding urgently. The BRDC were talking with a Qatari based consortium for a deal worth reportedly £500million that would have covered the BRDC’s current net liabilities resulting from recent developments and allowed for ongoing development.

It now seems though that while the BRDC had been focussing on this Qatari deal there was another potential deal in the pipeline all along to fall back on and this deal is with an Anglo-American consortium backed by Richard Branson: this is of course far from some reports that the deal was solely with Richard Branson or his Virgin brand or that he was set to takeover or buy the Silverstone circuit.

The deal would see a lease granted to the consortium or whoever a deal is finally made with; the BRDC would remain owners of the circuit they bought in 1971, following a period of leasing it themselves. As owners the BRDC would reinvest money from the lease in to developing the circuit including the plans for a huge hill stand to greatly increase the capacity of the general admission area, this in itself would improve the financial viability of the British Grand Prix.

Should the BRDC be unable to find an investor for a lease either selling part of the Silverstone Circuit Ltd company that actually owns the circuit may be an option or even floating the company could be considered.