Bernie Ecclestone now doubts that Donington Park will be ready in time to host the 2010 British Grand Prix even if the circuit bosses can secure the required funding package.
Donington had been given until the end of this week to prove to Ecclestone that it had the finance in place to complete the comprehensive rebuild required to host Formula 1 next year.
The F1 commercial rights manager hinted that he had not written off the circuit completely at this stage, replying "wait until Monday to write the truth" when asked by Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper if the latest deadline had been missed. But he admitted that he was now very pessimistic about Donington'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."
Donington has a 17-year deal to hold the British GP, but needed to make substantial changes to its infrastructure, access, and paddock facilities as well as redesigning the circuit to feature an additional infield loop. This work began earlier in 2009, but is a long way from completion and has been delayed by both planning and financial issues.
Ecclestone had initially been adamant that Donington was the only option for the British GP's future, but he has since indicated that present home Silverstone would be allowed to step in if Donington was not ready.
Next year's British GP is provisionally scheduled for 9-11 July.