Sep.11 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Two formula one teams are eyeing the area around Silverstone, Northamptonshire (UK) as a likely location for new factories.
Struggling Virgin’s main base at present is Dinnington, in rural South Yorkshire, but the Yorkshire Post reports that a move closer to new technical partner McLaren is on the cards.
Team boss John Booth confirmed that the team is set to move temporarily to Banbury, Oxfordshire, with a permanent headquarters to be built near Silverstone in 2012.
“It’s almost become inevitable,” he said at Monza. “We experimented with two or three bases and long term it was too much of a stretch.”
The Northampton Chronicle said the F1 teams’ interest in the area around Silverstone is because Northampton has been granted the right to create an enterprise zone and offer tax breaks to companies.
Reuters said Team Lotus, currently based at Hingham in Norfolk, is also looking to move to Silverstone.
“The perfect scenario would be for the cars to leave for Australia (next March) and come back to a new home,” confirmed team boss Tony Fernandes at Monza.
The Malaysian entrepreneur said Team Lotus, although the best of F1’s three newest teams, must up its game in 2012.
“I want to see them in a proper car,” he said, referring to the team’s existing drivers Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen. “Next season we will give them a proper car.”
He hinted that 2012 is therefore technical boss Mike Gascoyne’s last chance to deliver.
“I honestly think he’s done a fantastic job to get us to where we are but next year is the year where everyone’s head is on the block,” said Fernandes.