British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) president Derek Warwick announced late last month the group is no longer under pressure to sell Silverstone Circuit after making a profit in last year’s British Grand Prix.
As a result, Warwick told Autosport that the group has more flexibility over when to sell the circuit and who to sell it to. The latest bid for the track came from Jaguar Land Rover in early December 2015 after years of losses.
“The last five years have been difficult for us. We’ve not made money,” Warwick said. “Eighteen months ago, in particular, we would have bitten anybody’s arm off [to sell]. Now I don’t care if we do a deal or not. We’re still talking to two or three people and we’ve said,‘These are our terms.’ It’s no longer about their terms.”
Warwick said credit must go to Silverstone Managing Director Patrick Allen, who joined in 2015 to turn Silverstone’s fortunes around. He said Allen implemented an aggressive pricing structure for the sale of tickets, along with other streamlining ventures.
“He came in with great credibility,” he said.“ We knew he would do a good job, but we didn’t know how good a job. In the early days, some of the ticket pricing he did, he would admit now was wrong, so he’s learned as well. It’s a new world for him. But hey, he learns bloody quick and the thing with Patrick, if he doesn’t quite get it right, he puts his hand up and puts things right.”
The Silverstone Circuit opened in 1943 and hosts a regular leg of the Formula One races. It also hosts saloon, big bike, truck and other open-wheel car races.