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Donington Park brushes off British GP speculation

Donington Park's board has refuted the notion of stepping in to replace Silverstone as the host of the F1 British Grand Prix.
Donington Park's board has refuted the notion of stepping in to replace Silverstone as the host of the F1 British Grand Prix, as alternative venues are assessed after the Northamptonshire-based circuit considered its position on hosting the race.

A letter circulated to the British Racing Drivers' Club sent by chairman John Grant has asked members to consider binning the British Grand Prix in an early break-out clause with FOM by 2019.

Silverstone currently holds a contract with Bernie Ecclestone to host the British Grand Prix until 2026 but has struggled to turn a profit in recent years and the BRDC feels it cannot risk its asset until then, which has led to ex-F1 driver Sir Jackie Stewart and Damon Hill calling for the British government to step in.

Early indicators have assessed other potential venues for the British race if Silverstone did fall by the wayside, with Donington Park being on the top of prospective lists.

The Leicestershire circuit won the right to host the race in 2008 but had to pull out after failing to meet the £135 million development costs, which almost killed off the track completely, but has since recovered from the brink.

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A statement given to The Guardian from the Donington Park management states the circuit has no plans to return to F1 hosting duties.

“The board has consistently made it clear that we have no intention of bidding for the British Grand Prix,” a Donington Park spokesperson said to The Guardian.

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Other potential venues mentioned as replacements have been Rockingham and Brands Hatch but neither have shown interest in joining F1 and would also need considerable redevelopment to meet FIA Grade 1 circuit standards.

A fourth option speculated is the to-be-built Circuit of Wales, which holds the MotoGP British race hosting rights until 2024, and can potentially be built to Grade 1 specification but the race is currently held at Silverstone until the circuit is completed.

In a recent interview with ITV, Ecclestone says he has no worries regarding the future of the British Grand Prix but is concerned about the current situation at Silverstone.

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January 09, 2017 12:59 PM

Once bitten, twice shy eh? Not a chance of a Central London street race. A week of disruption is not feasible. The BRDC are on their own and are just posturing. As for the Circuit of Wallies, lets see if the the first spade is lifted sometime. Don't hold your breath though....

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