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British GP location in doubt

10/23/2009 - Formula 1

LONDON -- The British Formula One Grand
Prix faced an uncertain future on Friday after the failure of a
bond to cover the cost of redeveloping the Donington Park
circuit.

"Donington Ventures Leisure Limited can confirm that a bond
for 135 million pounds [$224.8 million] to cover the cost of the
F1 redevelopment at Donington Park has been unsuccessful," a
statement said.

"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 today's deadline. Information regarding the circuit's future plans is not yet
available."

Formula One head Bernie Ecclestone had given Donington,
which has a 17-year contract to host the race from next year,
until noon Monday to remedy a breach of contract after
repeatedly extending deadlines.

Ecclestone has said that Silverstone, the circuit that put
on the first championship race in 1950 but lost the contract
after this year's farewell, will be offered the chance to regain
the Grand Prix.

A provisional calendar issued this week by the governing
FIA left a question mark on the July 11 race.

Donington, who has already lost its MotoGP race to
Silverstone, had promised to invest $164 million to revamp
the circuit during a five-year period.

The high-risk, seven-year bond had offered investors an
annual interest of 15 percent as well as warrants over a future
share issue.