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SEPTEMBER 21, 2000

Rohan unveils plans for Silverstone expansion

Silverstone boss Denys Rohan has unveiled major redevelopment plans for the circuit as it aims to re-enter the race to host the 2002 British Grand Prix.

Brands Hatch holds the rights for 2002 - Silverstone's contract runs out next year - but the government have ordered a public inquiry into expansion plans at the Kent track and it is unlikely to be upgraded to Formula One standards in time for 2002.

Donington Park, owned by the Brands Hatch Leisure Group, has been suggested as an alternative but Rohan has revealed that Silverstone has £8.5 million expansion plans to put the circuit in the hunt to host the British Grand Prix.

"We will create a new centre, exclusively reserved for Formula One," said Rohan. "The garages will be allocated to teams, and they will be able to fit them out however they like."

"They could even be used as permanent test facilities depending upon the testing rules."

Rohan is confident Silverstone will continue as host of the British Grand Prix in 2002, and beyond, after claiming both Brands Hatch and Donington Park are not suitable venues.

"It's not easy to make a major change to a circuit, especially when the Donington is adjoining an airport," he said. "It's not impossible, but it would cost a huge amount of money to redevelop."