Donington bid 'killed by credit crunch'

BERNIE ECCLESTONE, Formula One&rsquo;s commercial rights-holder, says Donington&rsquo;s attempt to host the British Grand Prix was killed off by the credit crunch.<br /><br />The Leicestershire circuit&rsquo;s bid sank on Monday, having failed to raise the &pound;135m needed to overhaul its facilities, leaving Silverstone set to step in.<br /><br />&ldquo;It&rsquo;s unfortunate for them,&rdquo; said Ecclestone. &ldquo;It was the credit crunch that caused them to be in trouble because their intentions were good, that&rsquo;s for sure.&rdquo;<br /><br />Donington Ventures, which leases the track, failed in a late attempt to raise funds through a bond scheme. Having had the deadline to show it had the requisite funds extended several times, Donington missed Monday&rsquo;s final cut-off date.<br /><br />Ecclestone added: &ldquo;There&rsquo;s no Donington. They&rsquo;ve missed the deadline which we kept extending for them.&rdquo; Doubts remain over the future of the British Grand Prix, as long as no agreement has been signed between Ecclestone and Silverstone.<br /><br />The British Racing Drivers&rsquo; Club, which owns and operates Silverstone, is thought to be trying to negotiate the price down, while Ecclestone insists he could get a better deal abroad. But he said yesterday: &ldquo;We&rsquo;re talking. A deal can be done if they want to.&rdquo; Asked what the sticking points were, the 79-year-old replied: &ldquo;There isn&rsquo;t actually. As far as I&rsquo;m concerned, no problems.&rdquo;