F1 doesn't need British GP - Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone insists he is prepared to scrub Britain's name from the 2010 calendar if Silverstone does not want to pay the going rate for its Formula One race. With Donington's chances now all but over, it had been expected that the F1...

Bernie Ecclestone insists he is prepared to scrub Britain's name from the 2010 calendar if Silverstone does not want to pay the going rate for its Formula One race.

With Donington's chances now all but over, it had been expected that the F1 chief executive might move to safeguard the British Grand Prix by reaching an alternate deal with the race's traditional venue.

But after a Silverstone spokesman said Ecclestone's current offer is not "commercially viable", the British billionaire hit back: "No one is forcing them to take it.

"This is business. We have offered them a deal," he told the Daily Express newspaper. Do we need a British Grand Prix? No."

Ecclestone disputes that Silverstone, scene of F1's very first world championship event in 1950, should enjoy protected status as one of the sport's "traditional" venues.

"Italy is a traditional race because they have always raced at Monza," he argued. "Monaco is traditional as they have always had the same track.

"Britain and France have raced at three different circuits. They want a cut-price deal because it is traditional. That's not traditional to me. Britain is not protected," said Ecclestone.

"I would like a new plane because it's traditional as I have had one for 40 years but no one is offering me a cheap deal. That's not how it works."

Meanwhile, The Times newspaper reports that Donington's breach of contract may cost the circuit up to 15 million pounds sterling in cancellation fees.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Bernie Ecclestone