Site logo

End of the road for Donington?

NEWS STORY
10/10/2009

The fate of the British Grand Prix lies in the balance as yet another deadline passes at Donington where Simon Gillett is unable to demonstrate how he will fund the redevelopment of the circuit due to host the event from next year.

Friday saw the fourth - or fifth, depending on your point of view - deadline come and go, leaving Bernie Ecclestone to tell the Press Association: "We will see what happens on Monday."

However, talking to The Times he admitted: "It's not good, is it?"

"Even if they get the money, I cannot see how it will all be ready in time to go," he added, a view shared by many. "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 event, when asked what would happen should Donington be unable to meet its commitments Ecclestone said that Silverstone would host the 2010 race. However, Damon Hill, president of the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) which owns Silverstone has since said that he doesn't want to see the Northamptonshire track used as a stop-gap.

Gillet and his company Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd have faced all manner of problems ever since the deal was first announced, ironically, at Silverstone on the Friday of the 2008 British Grand Prix. Other than finance, there have been various legal and planning issues, not to mention the global economic crisis.

Nonetheless, Gillet has constantly insisted that all was well, that money would be in place, targets would be met and that the future of F1 in Britain was assured, though many have been sceptical from the outset.

Debentures, one of the main ways in which Gillet hoped to raise the required £120m in funding, might work for the All England Club in terms of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, they might work for Arsenal Football Club (ugh!), Wembley Stadium, the Millennium Stadium and Twickenham, but there was never any guarantee that the system would work for Donington. Not with the prices being asked and not with the economic crisis.

Ecclestone, who has waged a bitter war against the BRDC for as long as most fans can remember, constantly leaving the future of the event in the balance, may claim not to be worried by Britain's potential absence from the 2010 calendar - after all, he has Abu Dhabi and Korea - but the fans, teams, drivers and sponsors will, the British Grand Prix having been a constant on the F1 calendar ever since it hosted the first round of the official Formula One World Championship in 1950.

LATEST NEWS

more news >

RELATED ARTICLES

LATEST IMAGES

galleries >

  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images

POST A COMMENT

or Register for a Pitpass ID to have your say

Please note that all posts are reactively moderated and must adhere to the site's posting rules and etiquette.

Post your comment

READERS COMMENTS

 

No comments posted as yet, would you like to be the first to have your say?

Share this page

X

Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2021. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  privacy & security  |  rss  |  terms