OCTOBER 14, 2009
Still waiting on Donington
The future of the British Grand Prix remains clouded as Donington Park is now running out of time to start work on the development necessary in order to host a race. Donington Ventures Leisure Limited says that it has been given two more weeks in which to get the funding together.
"We have made great strides in recent weeks and greatly appreciate the additional time allowed to us to finalise the information for public distribution in what has been a much more difficult than anticipated economic climate," said Smon Gillett. "We appreciate the British public's growing frustration with regard to uncertainty that has been cast over the country's largest and most successful motorsport event, but remain committed to delivering on the promises that we made at the start of this process and have the interests of the sport and its fans at heart."
Be that as it may, there is no almost no-one left in Formula 1 circles who believes that the race will happen at Donington and thus the focus is switching back to Silverstone, which says it is willing to hold the race, at the right price.
Ecclestone says that he will talk to Silverstone but is still demanding better facilities and access. Silverstone says that it wants a multi-year deal.
"Everyone would welcome the opportunity to put together a long-term plan for Silverstone as the circuit for motorsport and to recognise its contribution to the country," Damon Hill, president of the BRDC says. "Everyone recognises the power of the Grand Prix and of the benefits of motorsport and the prestige it brings. Eventually it comes down to where the money comes from. For us it is through the gate and unless we have sufficient scope to generate a margin then other investments go on the back burner. Every time there is a window of opportunity it tends to be that the slack is taken up in FOM race fees. I mean no disrespect to the Middle East but those circuits based in Europe are what gave birth to the sport and we want to make sure we are not sacrificed for a palace in the middle of a desert."