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Donington gets new deadline extension

Donington boss Simon Gillett says he remains fully committed to having the circuit ready in time to host next year's British Grand Prix, after being granted a further extension to his deadline.

After several deadline extensions, Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone had given Donington until the end of this week to prove that it had the finance in place to complete the works needed to host next year's race.

Ecclestone himself, however, said he was pessimistic about the circuit's chances.

"It's not good, is it?" Ecclestone told The Times. "Even if they get the money, I cannot see how it will all be ready in time to go. It is very disappointing because we thought it would happen, but they cannot go on missing deadlines.

"They could still come to us saying they have the money, but there is no way the circuit would be ready at this late stage. It looks as though we will have to start planning again."

However, Gillett said on Monday that he had been given a further two weeks to demonstrate Donington's credentials, and he claimed he was still committed to carrying out the original plan.

"We can confirm that Donington Ventures Leisure Limited has another two weeks from today to further demonstrate our credentials for hosting the British Formula 1 Grand Prix and to provide full information regarding our financial backing and construction timescales," said Gillett in a statement.

"We have made great strides in recent weeks and greatly appreciate the additional time allowed to us to finalise the information for public distribution in what has been a much more difficult than anticipated economic climate.

"We appreciate the British public's growing frustration with regard to uncertainty that has been cast over the country's largest and most successful motorsport event, but remain committed to delivering on the promises that we made at the start of this process and have the interests of the sport and its fans at heart."

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