Donington in doubt over hosting F1 races

SILVERSTONE: Donington Park's boss may look into pulling out of the contract to host the British Grand Prix from next year if eight rebel Formula One teams stick with their plan to form a rival series.

Simon Gillett, the circuit's chief executive, said Sunday that the prospect of a championship without major teams like Ferrari and McLaren would make it tougher securing the investment needed to upgrade the venue in time to stage the event from 2010.

Gillett indicated that his contract with F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone anticipated such a situation arising.

"There are elements that certain things have to arrive on my grid, and if they don't I can have a discussion with Bernie," Gillett told BBC radio.

Donington has a 17-year deal due to take over hosting rights from Silverstone, which was due to stage its last British GP on Sunday.

Rather than putting tickets on sale amid the post-Silverstone focus on the sport, Gillett plans to wait until August with so much uncertainty hangs over the championship.

"We'll make sure what we sell is what we can deliver," Gillett said.

The pressing issue for Gillett next month is finding investors to provide the 80 million pounds ($132 million) needed to complete the redevelopment of Donington.

That is not being helped by the standoff between F1's governing body and the Formula One Teams Association, whose eight members have pulled out of the 2010 championship because of a dispute with FIA president Max Mosley over plans to introduce a voluntary budget cap.

"It causes us a little bit of a slowdown, potentially," Gillett said of the search for funding.