F1 links: Donington Park funding concern

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British Grand Prix still awaiting green light

Concern over Donington Park’s funding.

Teddy Mayer 1935-2009

“Edward Everett “Teddy” Mayer died at his home in England on Friday, at the age of 73. He is survived by a son, Tim, and a daughter, Anne”


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Button facing the end of his Formula One career at 29

“It is understood Button is no longer a candidate for the Toro Rosso team, whose search for a second driver looks likely to end with the rehiring of Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 15 comments on “F1 links: Donington Park funding concern”

    1. Now the words of Martin Brundle from last year are ringing in my ears when he said ‘they had better fire up the bulldozers’ to get Donnington ready in time. Those words are now seeming to become reality with this news, that there may not be the cash available to fund this vital project.
      Time is of the essence, and with the money scarce, I am deeply concerned that 2009 maybe the last year of a British Grands Prix. What I cannot except, and will never be able, was to the decision to drop Silverstone. I am fully aware of the accusations concerning Ecclestone’s outrageous fees for holding the race, and the terrible relationship he has with the BRDC. All that aside, Silverstone has improved as a venue over the years, and is a favourite of the fans and drivers alike. It is part of the sports heritage.
      Believe me, dropping Silverstone is akin to NASCAR dropping Daytona or Talladega, it just would not happen.
      The fans would simply boycott the sport, seriously!
      When you are running a series, or a business, you always play to your strengths rather than your weaknesses. Bernie is supposed to be a fantastic businessman, but it seems he is more focussed on F1s weaknesses as opposed its strengths.
      The lifeblood of this sport will always be its traditional European circuits. Spa, Monza, Imola, Hockenheim, Nurburgring, and Silverstone. These circuits are F1s backbone, not China or Bahrain.
      All I can see is that Ecclestone has led the British Grands Prix, and its legion of fans, up the garden path.
      Everybody believed that the U.S and Canadian Grands Prixs were too big to be dropped, too profitable, and we were wrong. The British Grands Prix will be next, and that would be nothing short of a disaster to this sport.

      1. Fantastic summary of the events my friend. Looking at the issue, it is indeed sad that you even need to go on such a rant in the first place.

        As an AmeriCAN fan with a deep appreciation for Great Britain and nearly all things British, an F1 calendar without a British GP is UNTHINKABLE!!!! With the possible exception of Italy, there is no other nation with so much invested in F1- this includes history, fan interest, jobs in the sport today, and so on. If the British fans are deprived of a GP, we might as well turn off the sport altogether- that is how much it means to Formula 1. While Silverstone may not be the fanciest place around, I am sure there are many more diplomatic ways for Bernie to go about getting it spruced up than the current state of affairs.

        Here’s to many more years of a successful British GP!!!

      2. The fault for losing the British Grand Prix lies solely with the BRDC for their inability to negotiate a proper deal for the future of the Grand Prix. Every time Ecclestone asked for Silverstone’s facilities to be upgraded, the BRDC responded by making “plans,” and then doing nothing about them. Far more honest and less cowardly would have been to negotiate a realistic and reasonable deal for upgrading Silverstone, then to have acted on the terms of that deal, rather than promising the earth and delivering nothing at all. Congratulations to Gillett and Donington for being the only people prepared to properly invest for the future of the British Grand Prix; I hope they can get it done because there was never any chance of Silverstone being up to the mark.

        For Bernie, it is just business. The majority of F1 fans will continue to watch Grands Prix whether they are in Britain or Tajikistan. The French invented motorsport, after all, and nobody is prophesying the end of Formula One now that the French Grand Prix is off the calendar for 2009.

    2. As a fellow Scranton native and resident, I am truly saddened to learn of the pasisng of Mr. Mayer. Aside from doing a great deal with international motorsports, he was involved in several business ventures here in Scranton. A truly great man who flew under the radar of famous people in F1, and yet another example of a great American who contributed much to the sport.

    3. I think I’m in the wrong job. There’s nothing new in that Daily Mail article, yet they claim it is an exclusive.

      And are we really to believe that Seb Bourdais can raise more sponsorship than Jenson Button??

    4. I’d give Jense a few bob to keep his drive.

      But I’m not surprised to hear that Donington news, although I was hoping I’d never hear it.

    5. In the cases of Silverstone and Donington, in my opinion as long as the tracks are ok, it should not matter, as might be the case of Silverstone, if the facilities are a little antiquated. This even adds to the charm of the venue.
      Those massive new infrastructure buildings are typical of the tacky nouveau riche vision of Bernie and Tilke, and go against the class of the sport

    6. I hope the Bourdais rumours transpire to be true. He deserves a second season and to keep him hanging on this long and leave him without a drive in any series would be harsh.

      Button I think will still get another chance in F1, even if he spends 2009 on the sidelines. I could well imagine him replacing Heidfeld at BMW Sauber for 2010.

      1. I too could see Button in a BMW, however a year on the sidelines could severly dent his worth as it will mean he has not driver with the new aero, slicks or KERS…

        His best hope is still Honda finding a way to make it onto the grid. Failing that he must be hoping that the rumoured mimited testing sessions go ahead so he can get some testing mileage in for another team.

    7. I’ve said it before… I can’t see Donington happening… Not even a little bit!

    8. i hope jensen finds a seat soon a bmw or renault would be nice good luck to him ive got my fingers crossed for him

    9. If Button’s F1 career ends in this way it will be a great shame. Where would he go from here and what would he do? Which other racing series could he go too? If all else fails, perhaps he could go into the hotel business in Monaco like his mate DC…

      1. If the entity currently known as Honda do indeed fail to make the grid in the first round, it is possible that another team may aim to secure Button in place of a current driver. Who else thinks Vijay may drop Fisi or even Sutil to have Jenson as the face of the team? If he diden’t latch on there, the IndyCar series is possible, particularly if he could lure some sponsors for a team struggling at the moment.

        If all else fails, he could always follow JPM into NASCAR :)

    10. I don’t think Donington will make it either, unfortunately.

      Of course, this will play right into bernie’s hands.

    11. Maybe Button could return to Renault replacig F1 fanatic’s most hated driver of 2008?

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