Silverstone waiting as Donnington given ultimatum
Tuesday 13 October 2009
Former Formula One world champion Damon Hill is keen for a resolution to be reached over a venue for next year's British Grand Prix.
Donington Park boss Simon Gillett was yesterday given a final two-week ultimatum by Bernie Ecclestone to sort out his financial issues or risk losing the British Grand Prix.
Gillett, the CEO of Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd, is understood to be in breach of contract with Formula One supremo Ecclestone as three deadlines over the past two weeks have all come and gone.
With just eight months to go before Donington is due to stage the race, time is fast running out on Gillett to carry out the multi-million pound upgrade required to turn the venue into a F1-ready circuit.
The additional fortnight's grace has added to the frustration of Silverstone chiefs who have been waiting patiently for Ecclestone to give them the nod they can stage one of British sport's crown jewels after previously hosting the event for the last 23 years.
Hill, president of the British Racing Drivers' Club, who own Silverstone, told BBC Radio Five Live: "As things stand we are waiting in the wings and we would very much like to provide a venue for the British Grand Prix.
"We think we're the right place for it. We're ready to go but as yet we have not seen a contract which is a sustainable, affordable contract.
"I'd like to see an end to the saga of 'is there going to be a British Grand Prix or not?'.
"I think it's about time we had a venue which can be developed to provide the best sort of facilities.
"We do lag behind some of the great stadiums we have in this country for football.
"We want to provide a really great venue for the fans but in order to do that we will need to have the kind of contract which provides enough scope to develop the facilities without too much risk to the company going bust."
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