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Bernie Ecclestone says he tried to buy British GP venue Silverstone

Former Formula 1 chief Bernie Ecclestone says he made enquiries about buying Silverstone, but was told the British Grand Prix venue is not for sale

Ecclestone's claim comes as the future of the British GP remains in doubt, with the current contract expiring after the 2019 race.

Asked for his views on the event's future, Ecclestone replied: "It would be nice to have one".

Ecclestone's blunt verdict on F1's new ambitions

He then added: "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 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."

Asked what his plans for Silverstone would have been, he replied: "I wouldn't have been directly involved as such."

Silverstone declined to comment on Ecclestone's suggestion.

F1 boss Chase Carey's recent suggestion that there are other options for the British GP beyond Silverstone suggested that following the 2017 F1 Live event there's still a desire to run an F1 street race somewhere in London.

Ecclestone said his own exploration of that possibility had suggested it would not be viable.

"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 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 £3million.

"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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