Ecclestone seeking Silverstone deal

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has declared an end to Donington Park's ambitious plans to host the British Grand Prix and offered Silverstone the chance to keep the race on the calendar.

The commercial supremo told today's Times newspaper Donington Ventures' efforts to raise the funds needed to develop the circuit were over.



Donington said in a statement last Friday that a £135m bond had failed to secure enough subscribers and they had until noon on Monday to remedy a breach of contract or lose the race.



That deadline came and went without comment, although Ecclestone told the Times it was actually midnight on Tuesday.



The Briton said there would be no penalties for Donington's failure and Silverstone had already been offered a similar 17-year deal for a traditional race whose place on the calendar now looks uncertain.



"They've got to tidy the whole place up a bit, but I'm optimistic they will accept it (the deal)," he added.



Next year's race is due to be held on 11 July, the same day as the World Cup soccer final in South Africa.



Silverstone, a former World War Two airfield, hosted the first championship race in 1950 and the British Racing Drivers' Club is keen to continue for the long term.



However, they have made clear they will only sign an agreement if it makes financial sense while Ecclestone has said he will not give them special treatment.



"I want a British Grand Prix, of course, but we are not going to do special rates for Britain," he told the Daily Express last week.



"If they (Silverstone) can't make it work then don't do it. If that happens, there won't be a British Grand Prix. Simple as that."



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific