Ecclestone showed interest in buying Silverstone

© XPB 

As uncertainty over the future of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone lingers, Bernie Ecclestone made inquiries to buy the British track, but was told it was not for sale.

The BRDC's activation of a break clause last year in its contract with The Formula One Group means the British round of the F1 world championship could be dropped from the calendar after next summer's race.

Ecclestone says he would have been willing to put in a bid for the legendary circuit, although it's unclear what he would have done with the track.

"I wouldn't have been directly involved as such," said the former F1 supremo.

"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 the other day 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."

While Formula One CEO Chase Carey has expressed his desire to see the race remains at its historical venue, the sport's chief executive hasn't dismissed F1 racing elsewhere in Great-Britain, like on the streets of London.

Ecclestone remains sceptic about that prospect however, knowing all too well the practical and financial difficulties of setting up such an event.

"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 mean 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 £3m. 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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