Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone says that doubts about the British Grand Prix's future
that have emerged because of a legal spat are no big surprise to him – having warned for years that the country was not matching the commitment to host a race shown by others.
The fate of the British GP now appears to be hanging in the balance after Donington Park owner Tom Wheatcroft announced he was suing the track's leaseholders for unpaid rent – as well as pushing for the 150-year lease to be forfeited.
Ecclestone has warned several times before that if Donington Park cannot get the track ready in time for the 2010 race then the British GP will be dropped from the calendar – and he admitted in Bahrain on Thursday that he was unsure what would happen now.
When asked by AUTOSPORT if he was saddened that the British GP was clouded by bickering while events like the new Abu Dhabi track aspire to become the best race on the calendar, Ecclestone said: "Absolutely. It is like Silverstone and Donington.
"I've been saying it for a long time: we just don't make the effort."
He added: "I don't know what the situation is. I don't know what the details are. What happens when people sue people is that both people think they are right, then it goes to court and the judge decides who was right and who was wrong. So maybe Tom is wrong and the other people are right. Maybe they don't owe that money."
Ecclestone hinted again that if Donington Park was not ready then there would be little other opportunity to hold a race in 2010.
"Well, we can't have one in the streets, could we?" he said.
Ecclestone also dismissed suggestions that he could now make a move to become the promoter of the British GP.
"What? To pay the rent?" he said when asked about the possibility. "I don't think so. I'm too busy. We've got a promoter and we've got the people there already."Related story:Legal bid prompts new British GP doubts