Silverstone has no chance of regaining the F1 British Grand Prix for 2010 in the event of Donington Park not being ready to stage the race, Bernie Ecclestone warned last week.
In his most direct statement yet on the subject, the F1 commercial rights holder reiterated his 'Donington or nowhere' threat, spelling it out in no uncertain terms that there would be no British Grand Prix on the calendar if the circuit near Derby was unable to deliver on its contract.
He told The Guardian newspaper that the British Racing drivers' Club, should not hold its breath in the event of Donington failing. "We left Silverstone because I am trying to improve facilities throughout the world," he said. "When I get people to build new circuits to the standard which we are trying to meet, how can we go back to Silverstone? I negotiated a deal for them many years ago to give them enough money to build what we wanted. They didn't build it."
Ecclestone also confirmed that there would be a new race in South Korea in 2010 followed by an Indian Grand Prix in 2011. Eventually it is his stated intention to stabilise the calendar at 20 races with European races that drop out unlikely to be reinstated. Quite where that leaves the proposed new French Grand Prix venue, provisionally pencilled in for 2011, remains to be seen.