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British Grand Prix

gez

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#1
End of Silverstone era as British GP heads to Donington

3 hours ago

SILVERSTONE, England (AFP) — Formula One chiefs announced on Friday that the British Grand Prix will move from Silverstone to Donington Park from 2010 onwards in a 10-year deal.

The announcement from Formula One's governing body, the FIA, signals the end of Silverstone's grip on one of the most prestigious Grands Prix on the calendar.

The Silverstone circuit has hosted the race every year since 1986 but after months of negotiation, Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone cited a lack of investment in facilities as the reason for the change in venue.

He said: "Finally the uncertainty is over. A contract has been signed with Donington Park and the future of the British Grand Prix is now secure.

"We wanted a world class venue for Formula One in Britain, something that the teams and British F1 fans could be proud of. The major development plans for Donington will give us exactly that. A venue that will put British motor sport back on the map.

"I am sorry that we could not have helped Silverstone to raise the money to carry out the circuit improvements and run Formula One.

"I believe that the government should have supported them which would have cost probably less than 0.002 percent of the government's commitment for the Olympic Games."

The news will come as a bitter blow for Silverstone's owners, the British Racing Driver's Club, who had fought desperately to keep the race.

Ecclestone admitted that he was negotiating with Donington Park last month and acknowledged that for the circuit to host a Formula One race, investment running into tens of millions of pounds would be needed.

In fact, Donington Park will undergo a development programme running to 100 million pounds over the next five years. The track will probably need lengthening and the venue may require a new pitlane, paddock, media complex and grandstands.

Donington Park's owners and joint CEOs, Simon Gillett and Lee Gill, commented: "We are naturally delighted and extremely proud to have acquired the rights to bring Formula One back to Donington Park from 2010.

"At the beginning of last year when we acquired the circuit and its substantial lands, we made clear our commitment towards realising the full potential of the Park by making the necessary investments in current and future events that will see Donington revitalised, ensuring its leading position as one of the most iconic racing circuits in the world.

"To that end, we have now entered a new and exciting chapter in the development of the Park and one that will bring significant investment and regional development while securing the future of one of the most important and significant sporting events in Britain."

Donington Park does have some Formula One history: it hosted the 1993 European Grand Prix won by the legendary Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna.

It will become the fifth home of the British Grand Prix which has also been held at Brooklands, Aintree and Brands Hatch.

FIA president Max Mosley welcomed the news and gave his endorsement to the investment planned by Donington's owners.

He said: "After many years of patient but fruitless negotiation with the BRDC, we are delighted that Bernie has nevertheless been able to ensure that the British Grand Prix will keep its place on the Formula One World Championship calendar.

"We understand that the development programme planned for Donington will achieve the very high standards we and FOM expect from a modern F1 circuit. Finally, British Formula One fans will get the Grand Prix venue they deserve."
 

nara

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#5
Is donnington big enough for F1 ?


Donington Park last staged a round of the FIA Formula One World Championship in 1993, when Ayrton Senna took arguably his most famous wet-weather victory in the European Grand Prix.
Of course it is. Just needs a bit of upgrading
 

lincsat

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#6
I'd say a hell of a lot of upgrading - hopefully £100 Million will do it. In 1993 it wasn't even up to Brands standard, never mind Silverstone.

I don't know what Bernie expects from a Circuit though, you're never going to get luxury for the General Admission (standing) area's
 

NL7

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#7
im pretty they can do a lot with £100m. Great to see the British GP still with us, considering we were pretty close to losing it..