The owners of Donington Park have rejected claims that the surface of the race circuit is contaminated by fuel dropped by aircraft using the nearby East Midlands Airport, also confirming that they have carried out considerable works to improve levels of grip.

Prior to the British Grand Prix they employed a specialist firm of contractors, Ringway, to work on the surface, improving the level of friction, and thus grip, around the whole of the grand prix circuit and the alleged fuel problem was one of the areas they were asked to investigate.

"The works were carried out in line with discussions with the FIM when they inspected the circuit earlier in the year, and we have seen very positive independent test results that show the improvement in surface friction has been considerable," said chairman and chief executive Simon Gillett.

"We react to any areas of potential problem, ensuring that anything and everything that can be done to rectify issues is carried out, and we believe that this has been done in this case, following the adverse comments made during last year's rain soaked grand prix.

"The report we received also categorically refutes any suggestion that aircraft fuel is dropped on the circuit causing problems - that is something I have never believed, given both the highly fertile market gardening industry beneath the flight path and also the prohibitive cost making dumping of fuel a no-go. We're just fed up with hearing this old wives tale trotted out again," added Mr Gillett.

His comments are underlined by a statement issued by Ringway: "TrackJet retexturing of the Melbourne hairpin showed a significant improvement in surface friction, indicating the potential performance of the surface material, and in subsequent surveys we have seen that the 'slipperiness' experienced in some areas of the track can be identified as low friction areas in the braking zones on the racing line around the circuit.

"This would lead us to believe that it is the racing activity on the track and the higher stresses on the surface involved in braking in these areas that has led to the localised decline in grip. The survey results don't support the theory that there is an external contaminant, such as aircraft fuel from the nearby airport, at the root of the problem."

The initial works at the Melbourne Hairpin have been completed around the full 2.5 mile circuit ahead of the British Grand Prix, free practice for which begins today (Friday).