The circuit's leaseholders DVLL – controlled by Simon Gillett – were sued by Donington Park owners Wheatcroft & Son Limited for unpaid rent. After hearing the news, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone urged the British government to step in and provide financial support for the race, as a potential return to Silverstone would be out of the question. Under the circumstances, the British Grand Prix would cease to exist.
As announced by Labour deputy chief whip Lord Davies, the UK government will try to help the Donington Park in other ways, as governmental funds are not part of the solution.
“We certainly stand by to help - not directly financially. Motorsport is an independent operation in this country, as most sports are.The government can give degrees of support and help, as with Silverstone in the past. However, no-one in this debate or in the industry argues for direct state support,” said Davies, as reported by autosport.com
“We do not want a state-sponsored motor industry, but the government can give necessary assistance and support in judicious ways, particularly by emphasizing how important the industry is to the development of our society and economy.”
“The government will continue to give the support that we have done in the past. We see our role as facilitating and encouraging the Motor Sports Association and the owners of Donington to be proactive about attracting money from various funding arrangements to guarantee the finances they need. The Government also have a part to play with skills, education and infrastructure,” added the British politician.
He added that, if Donington fails to attracting the necessary investors, Formula 1 should reconsider Silverstone as an alternative host of the British Grand Prix.