Bernie gives Donington another two weeks

LONDON: Formula One supremo Bernie Ec­­clestone has given Donington Park more time to provide the financial guarantees needed to host next year’s British Grand Prix.

“Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd has another two weeks to further demonstrate our credentials for hosting the British Grand Prix,” chief executive Simon Gillett said after meeting Ecclestone on Monday.

“We remain committed to delivering on the promises we made at the start of this process and have the interests of the sport and its fans at heart,” he said in a statement.

Ecclestone had initially set an end of Sep­tember deadline but has twice extended it since then. Donington has promised to invest £100mil in revamping the circuit over a five-year period.

The Briton has said Silverstone, the circuit that put on the first championship race in 1950 but has now lost the contract after this year’s farewell, will host the July 11 grand prix if Donington is not ready.

However Damon Hill, president of Silverstone’s owners the British Racing Drivers’ Club, told the Times newspaper that a one-year stop-gap deal might not be enough for them.

“There is a deal that can be done,” he said. “Ber­­nie’s method has been very much to go to the highest bidder, but there are sporting matters, not just commercial matters, to be considered.

“We need to work together so there is not a question every year about the future of the British Grand Prix.” — Reuters

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