Architect Gaunt Francis has designed a £4m training centre for racing drivers at the Silverstone track in Northamptonshire.
The scheme is one of a number of proposed developments to turn Silverstone into a world-class Formula 1 circuit. The body behind the developments, the British Racing Drivers' Club, is concerned that Britain could lose its Grand Prix status unless improvements are made.

The training centre would include a practice track for karting, the first rung on the ladder for aspiring world champions.

Designs have not been finalised but the current plan would place the karting track, which has been modelled on the F1 circuit in Barcelona, in the centre of the main Formula 1 circuit.

Gaunt Francis partner Alan Francis said that the design for the training academy, which has not received planning permission, was still in its early stages. He said: "The scheme is on hold at present but we are optimistic, because the centre is part of the wider development of the circuit."

Funding for the training centre would come from the East Midlands Development Agency, the drivers' club and Bernie Ecclestone, the man who runs Formula 1.

Alex Hooton, chief executive of the British Racing Driver's Club, said: "The establishment of an international karting centre has been in the planning stage for some time.

"It is a project that we want to do and we have been in discussion with government and government agencies."

"However, we have not secured funding for the project, which is seen as an essential part of the staircase of talent we are trying to create," he added.

Architect Cube Design has received planning consent for a grandstand, media centre and control tower around the edge of the main racing track.