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Page last updated at 12:06 GMT, Saturday, 24 October 2009 13:06 UK

Silverstone warned by Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone
Ecclestone refuses to lower his deal for hosting the British Grand Prix

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone insists the sport does not need the British Grand Prix as negotiations continue over the hosting of the race from 2010.

Donington's bid to stage the event looks over after the promoters failed to raise the £135m needed to host it.

And Silverstone, the most likely alternative venue, is stalling over the terms of Ecclestone's contract offer.

Ecclestone said: "I want a British Grand Prix, of course, but we are not going to do special rates for Britain."

Silverstone has hosted every British Grand Prix since 1987 but in 2008 Donington, which has only ever held one grand prix, won the rights to the event.

We are not prepared to charge less. Do we need a British Grand Prix? No
F1 ring master Bernie Ecclestone

Donington's apparent inability to come up with the cash required to host the race has seen it offered back to Silverstone but the deal is thought to be similar to the one presented to, and rejected by, the circuit 18 months ago.

Ecclestone told the Daily Express: "Silverstone have a contract in front of them. We've no commercial arrangement in place for a British Grand Prix for next year.

"That is why the race has an asterisk beside it on the 2010 calendar.

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

"No-one is forcing them to take it. This is business. We have offered them a deal."

Ecclestone ruled out the prospect of Britain being given a discount rate, similar to those enjoyed by Monza and Monaco as the sport's "traditional" grands prix.

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He added: "The contract they have is the contract we like. We are not prepared to charge less. Do we need a British Grand Prix? No."

Donington still has until midday Monday (1200 GMT) to meet the deadline set by Ecclestone for executives to prove they have the finances required to upgrade the aged track.

The central England circuit had been set due to take over hosting rights from Silverstone next July in a 17-year deal.

Earlier this month, Donington launched a bond issue in an attempt to raise £135m, but track operators, Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd, confirmed on Friday that it had been unsuccessful.

The track operators added: "Despite higher than expected levels of interest and very positive early indications, the bond, which was launched with Citi Group last week, has failed to secure enough subscription ahead of the deadline."

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see also
Hill fears for British GP future
27 Oct 09 |  Formula 1
F1 could mean boost for Donington
13 Oct 09 |  People & Places
Donington confident on grand prix
03 Oct 09 |  Leicestershire
Ecclestone sends Donington threat
26 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Silverstone looks for investment
26 Aug 09 |  Formula 1
Donington quiet as deadline nears
02 Oct 09 |  Leicestershire
Donington track shuts for F1 work
24 Sep 09 |  Leicestershire
Hill backs Silverstone's GP bid
24 Apr 09 |  Formula 1
British GP is secure - Ecclestone
20 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Donington secures 17-year F1 deal
15 Jun 09 |  Leicestershire

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