Bernie Ecclestone is rumoured to be behind an alternative plan for the redevelopment of Silverstone, in an effort to keep the British Grand Prix on the F1 calendar and under the control of the British Racing drivers' Club.

According to Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, the long-time F1 commercial rights holder has sided with the group of club members opposing the proposal put forward by Jackie Stewart and the current board, which would see the circuit's lease handed over to property developer St Modwen and the rights to the grand prix given to Northern Racing and the redevelopment of certain sections of the estate include a hotel and possible residential housing.

Although the board is considering toning down the proposal after it attracted opposition from both within the club and from nearby Silverstone village residents,the group led by former F3 racer Harry Stiller continues to shout down the plan. The group has already successfully managed to get the matter deferred to the club's AGM later this month, and now hopes to replace it with an alternative scheme of its own.

Ecclestone is understood to be backing a plan that would still see Silverstone updated - a long-standing campaign of the F1 tsar - but with all assets, including the land and grand prix, remaining under BRDC ownership. Reports claim that the proposal would also see Ecclestone run the British Grand Prix in conjunction with the BRDC and share the cost of the upgrade, which would include a new pit and paddock complex as a necessity. The BRDC would then carry out its own revamp of the rest of the development to bring it in line with newer facilities and, according to the report, include a theme park, extreme sports site and half-mile oval amongst other more expected ventures.

BRDC members are expected to get their first sighting of the alternative plan today, and then get a chance to vote on them at the AGM on 28 April. The same date is likely to see Damon Hill installed as president in place of Stewart, who has decided to stand down, and it is possible that a new board will also be voted in, following a vote of no confidence issued at the EGM last month.



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