Ecclestone extends Donington Deadline

Bernie Ecclestone has given Donington Park until the beginning of next month to prove that is it capable to host next year’s British Grand Prix.

Details of the proposed redevelopment have been few and far between in recent months, with speculation continuing to surround the financial viability of the event.

As a result, Ecclestone says that he has decided to extend Donington’s deadline until the 3rd of October, having heard no more news from circuit organisers in recent days.

“I honestly don’t know. I hope so, but I don’t know,” Ecclestone said during a media event with F1 partner LG Electronics in Singapore on Thursday, “Their problem is a financial one – it is them getting the money together. Everything was done and ready, and when this [financial] crisis arrived the banks pulled the plug on them.”

“It [the deadline] was the end of September, but I think we may extend it a bit. By two or three days. I think we have given them until October 3.”

The Formula One supremo also reiterated that the Formula One circus would return to Silverstone if Donington could not meet its deadline and confirmed that the event would remain under the guise of the British Grand Prix.

“It’s in England? It will be the British GP,” he confirmed. “Why would you want to call it the European GP? People talk about the British GP having been at Silverstone for 100 years, so why should we change it?”

Ecclestone also revealed his desire for Formula One to return to the United States, with a race around Manhattan his preferred option.

“We are getting there. All in different places, we will see which one comes first,” he said.

When asked which venue was top of his list, he said: “Obviously Manhattan. I will tell when it happens if I can do it or not. We were told we couldn’t do a race in Singapore.”