Major doubts over Donington

doningtonparkplanoct08-lgThe chances of Donington Park hosting the British Grand Prix in 2010 are looking increasingly slim after the circuit organisers missed Friday’s deadline to prove to Bernie Ecclestone that they have the finance in place to hold the event.

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 Friday, but he confirmed that this deadline has been missed.

“It’s not good, is it?” Ecclestone told The Times. “Even if they get the money, I cannot see how it will all be ready in time to go.

“It is very disappointing because we thought it would happen, but they cannot go on missing deadlines.

“They could still come to us saying they have the money, but there is no way the circuit would be ready at this late stage. It looks as though we will have to start planning again.”

Speaking at this year’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Ecclestone backtracked on his original stance – that the grand prix would be at Donington or not at all – by saying that he expected Silverstone to host the event should Donington fail to get a financial plan in place.