Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has warned that he is not prepared to offer Silverstone a cut-price deal for the British Grand Prix just to guarantee the race a future.
With Donington Park's plans for the British GP close to failure, with the track having until midday on Monday to get its finances sorted, Silverstone has already opened talks with Ecclestone about a contract. However, the terms that have been offered to Silverstone are similar to those that the track rejected 18 months ago as commercially unviable. That means that unless Ecclestone is willing to compromise on the finances, the race may not happen.
And Ecclestone told Britain's Daily Express that it was not vital that the British GP was on the calendar in 2010.
"Silverstone have a contract in front of them," he said. "We've no commercial arrangement in place for a British Grand Prix for next year. That is why the race has an asterisk beside it on the 2010 calendar. If they can't make it work then don't do it. If that happens, there won't be a British Grand Prix. Simple as that.
"No one is forcing them to take it. This is business. We have offered them a deal."
When asked if Silverstone could expect a discount just to keep the British GP on the calendar, Ecclestone said: "The contract they have is the contract we like. We are not prepared to charge less. Do we need a British Grand Prix? No. I want a British Grand Prix, of course, but we are not going to do special rates for Britain."