Ex-Formula 1 driver Jonathan Palmer has said his company MotorSport Vision (MSV) will make an offer to buy Silverstone if it is invited to do so.
Speaking to The Telegraph, the father of Renault F1 driver Jolyon Palmer said he hopes Silverstone's owners, the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC), will open bidding from his company, which is the UK’s biggest circuit operator.
“We are definitely interested in making an offer for Silverstone and have a lot of confidence in our ability to bring a great deal of stability to it and a vision for the future,” Palmer told The Telegraph.
“The BRDC hasn’t approached me at all but I’ve told them that I certainly want the opportunity to be invited to put a deal forward. On a number of occasions, I have said that MSV would be interested in running Silverstone.”
Palmer’s comments come just weeks after Jaguar Land Rover’s potential purchase of the home of the British GP hit a roadblock. JLR was a front-running candidate, but reports suggest the £33 million deal stalled after an agreement couldn’t be made with Porsche, which owns a driving centre within Silverstone's grounds.
“Porsche has a covenant within its lease that says no manufacturer can use the circuit for more than 45 days a year,” said a spokesman. “JLR were aware of that covenant and assumed that they might be able to sort it out after the deal was done.”
The JLR and Porsche issue centred around the fact that the two brands are rival car makers, but MSV wouldn’t face such an problem because it doesn't make cars.
MSV’s experience of running circuits is vast. The company operates five British tracks, including Oulton Park and Brands Hatch, and is currently building a 1263-acre automotive complex for motor racing and high-speed road car driving in Laon, France.
MSV’s strong financial position contrasts heavily with that of Silverstone, which has acquired £55.9m worth of net losses in the past five years.
If MSV is invited to buy the circuit, it could face competition from Lawrence Tomlinson, a multi-millionaire businessman and owner of racing outfit Team LNT.
Tomlinson issued an offer letter that promised to “leave the BRDC with an upfront payment of £6m, capital investment, no debt responsibilities and ongoing rent of £1m per year for a further 248 years (index-linked).”
None of the involved parties has commented on the latest news at this stage.