Bernie Ecclestone has sent out a clear warning, Britain's only hope of retaining its place on the F1 calendar lies with Donington Park. Should the Derbyshire track be unable to host the 2010 Grand Prix, there will be no reprieve for Silverstone.
The owners at Donington are currently undertaking a massive development of the circuit and its facilities, however, Ecclestone has warned that unless the work is completed to his satisfaction by the summer of 2010, Donington, indeed Britain, loses the race.
"They're doing a good job," he told the Guardian, but warned that if Donington isn't ready in time, and therefore not fully ready for the 2010 GP, the owners would be in breach of their 10-year contract.
Asked if the race might temporarily return to Silverstone, Ecclestone replied: "We left there because I'm trying to improve facilities throughout the world. When I get people to build new circuits to the standard which we're trying to reach, how can we got back to Silverstone?
"I negotiated a deal for them many years ago to give them enough money to build what we wanted. They didn't build it."
With South Korea hosting its first race in 2010 and India scheduled to join the F1 calendar the year after, Ecclestone, who is seeking a 20-race season warned that if Britain slips off the calendar there might not be an opportunity to return.
"We haven't got a spare date," he said. "We're in trouble. We need a date. We're going to be in trouble if we do have Donington."