Ecclestone: F1 not going back to Silverstone ‘sure’

Bernie Ecclestone has said that F1 will not go back to Silverstone ‘for sure’ even if Donington Park is not ready for the 2010 season. The commercial rights holder said that he would instead miss a year and wait until 2011 for the Leicestershire track to be ready.

“If the work at Donington is not finished in time, we would be happy to skip a year,” he told the Times.

“I don’t want to lose the British Grand Prix, that’s the last thing we want to do, but we aren’t going to Silverstone for sure.”

The comments come as speculation continues to surround Donington Park CEO Simon Gillett’s ambitious redevelopment plans for the circuit. The Englishman is currently engaged in looking for a backer to help repay the debt he owes to the circuit’s owner Tom Wheatcroft.

Ecclestone sounded optimistic as he spoke about the prospects for the track, however.

“I think they are getting their act together, I think they are getting things up and running,” he said. “The debt will be sorted out. It’s not a problem and raising money from the banks is looking positive.”

The redevelopment plans include the addition of an infield loop to extend the circuit, and a new pit and paddock complex. Further rumour that planning permission for the work was set to be withdrawn now looks unfounded, understands.