British GP location in doubt

Updated: October 23, 2009, 9:31 AM ET
Reuters

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.