Hill confident Silverstone can secure British GP

Damon Hill says he is confident a deal can be struck with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone to host the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2010 after Donington Park missed another deadline to demonstrate it has the finance in place.

Simon Gillet s Donington Ventures company won a 17-year contract to host the British Grand Prix, but a catalogue of legal battles, missed deadlines and most significantly the absence of any sound financial backing to deliver a £100 million upgrade of the circuit has cast major doubt over the event.

Bernie Ecclestone s latest deadline for Donington to get the money in place was Monday midday, but he confirmed that this deadline has been missed.

He also backtracked on his previous comments at this year’s British Grand Prix in June – that he expected Silverstone to host the event should Donington fail to get a financial plan in place.

“This is business. We have offered them a deal,” Ecclestone told Saturday s Daily Express. “The contract they have is the contract we like. We are not prepared to charge less.

“Do we need a British Grand Prix? No.”

British Racing Drivers’ Club President Damon Hill said he is hopeful that Silverstone will step in to host the event, but he made it clear that the Northamptonshire track would not sign up at any price.

“I’m confident a deal can be worked out,” he told BBC Radio Northampton. “The contract can be of any combination of years, but it has to be affordable.”

“There’s a huge desire to get the deal done, but we’re not prepared to put [Silverstone] at risk financially.”