Arab investors to take over Silverstone - report

Middle Eastern financiers are close to taking over the British Grand Prix venue Silverstone, according to a report in the Sunday Express newspaper. The report said the planned deal is to get upgrades to the Northamptonshire venue completed and...

Middle Eastern financiers are close to taking over the British Grand Prix venue Silverstone, according to a report in the Sunday Express newspaper.

The report said the planned deal is to get upgrades to the Northamptonshire venue completed and prevent the F1 race's scheduled move to rival circuit Donington.

A letter to the circuit's fellow directors asks them to vote at an August 25 meeting for a plan to make Silverstone "capable of hosting Grands Prix should the opportunity arise".

But a former director, John Fitzpatrick, said members of the track-owning British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) "will not stand by and let the directors ask them to sign away their rights".

He confirmed that the directors have been in advanced talks for "quite some time".

BRDC president Damon Hill denied the claims, insisting he has "no idea of anybody who has been engaged in a deal". However, the 1996 world champion did admit that the goal is to "attract a significant investor to take on the risky part of running Silverstone".

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone said: "I've not spoken to anybody."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Damon Hill , John Fitzpatrick , Bernie Ecclestone