Friday, 4 July 2008

Donington to Host British Grand Prix from 2010!

The BRDC and British motor racing fans were given something of a shock today as Bernie Ecclestone announced that Donington Park would be the new home of the British Grand Prix from 2010 onwards. It appears next year's race will be the final Silverstone Grand Prix as Bernie has finally followed through on his repeated threats to take the GP away from Silverstone unless they commit to improving the circuit facilities.

It will be a massive disappointment to Damon Hill and the rest of the BRDC, who have been fighting tooth and nail to secure the funding to improve the track facilities enough to ensure the future of the GP. Silverstone held its very first Grand Prix back in 1950, and it has been a near permanent fixture on the F1 calendar ever since. It has a rich history in the sport, and it will be sorely missed by many. Corners like Copse and the Maggots/Becketts complex are some of the fastest and most thrilling of any F1 circuit, and have been favourites with fans and drivers for many years.

Donington Park last held a Grand Prix back in 1993, when it played host to the rain affected European Grand Prix, won spectacularly by Ayrton Senna. It is a very good circuit, and has held many GT races and MotoGP events over recent years. The facilities aren't yet anywhere near the standard required of an F1 circuit, and I'm sure the BRDC would argue that currently they are way behind Silverstone in that respect. However, there are concrete plans in place for the redevelopment of Donington over the next year, which no doubt proved convincing enough for Bernie.

"Finally the uncertainty is over. A contract has been signed with Donington Park and the future of the British Grand prix is now secure," said Ecclestone.

"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 .002% of the government's commitment for the Olympic Games."

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