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Donington given more time - again.

Despite assertions that today [3 October] was the final deadline for Donington Park to prove its financial credentials in order to host next year's British Grand Prix, Bernie Ecclestone has given the circuit another lifeline.

With the Japanese Grand Prix occupying his attention this weekend, Ecclestone has granted race promoter a further six days to gets its funding in place before he considers switching the event to another venue.

“They pleaded for extra time and have had several deadlines, [so] it's 9 October to show me they have the finances in place or we will be finished with Donington,” Ecclestone told Britain's Express newspaper.

Gillett insists that he is close to finalising around £140m of funding for the race, which is requiring a massive overhaul of the Donington Park circuit and its facilities.

Silverstone has provisionally been listed as a replacement for Donington should Gillett fail in his bid, although Ecclestone claimed at last week's Singapore GP that the Northamptonshire circuit is not a certainty to find a place on the calendar.

BRDC president Damon Hill is also unwilling to stage the race at Silverstone for just one year in order to allow Donington time to ready itself.

“If Donington does not happen, then you have to ask yourself what that says about the decision to look into it in the first place," the 1996 F1 world champion told Britain's Guardian newspaper, "In those circumstances, it would be nice to think that we could get round a table with FOM and put to bed once and for all the uncertainty over the future of the British Grand Prix.”

Related Pictures

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Donington boss Simon Gillett
Singapore Grand Prix
Silverstone Wing
F1 paddock at Silverstone
Marshals at the British Grand Prix
Marshals at the British Grand Prix
Marshals at the British Grand Prix
Marshals at the British Grand Prix
Fans at the British Grand Prix
Fans at the British Grand Prix
Fans at the British Grand Prix
Fans at the British Grand Prix
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Fans watching the F1 cars at the British Grand Prix
Crowds at the British GP
F1, British Grand Prix, Hackers Guide [Credit: Sarah Merritt]

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Anne - Unregistered

October 03, 2009 9:25 AM

At this rate there wont be a British Grand Prix in 2010... it's getting too late to start selling tickets (either Donington or Silverstone), and with the predicted wet winter, I can't see the work being anywhere near completed (it took 2 years to build an Asda store in my town!). Isn't the company that oversaw the Wembley Stadium re-build overseeing this? How many years late was that being completed!?! The whole Donington idea has been a complete farce from start to finish - and in total disregard of what a majority of the fans would like!

mark turner - Unregistered

October 03, 2009 11:54 AM

GRJ I completely disagree. Donington has been and always will be a hole. Silverstone has very good facilities (having been for BTCC, Le Mans, BSB, F3, F1 and FIA GT this year, I feel I can give a general overview.) The infrastructure is there, the capability is there. I think the whole Donington farce has dragged on far too long. Gillet is a dreamer. I have no intention of going to next years F1 (if there is one) if it is at Donny. Silverstone is the only venue capable of running such an event. Most Moto GP fans bemoan Donny facilities and you should read some of the comments on the DOwnload Festival website.

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