2010 Donington Park F1 track revealed

Donington Park 2010 track map - see below for more images and details

Donington Park 2010 track map - see below for more images and details

Donington Park has revealed details of the changes it will make in advance of it holding the 2010 British Grand Prix.

When the deal to take the British Grand Prix from Silverstone to Donington Park was announced early in July one of the circuit owners remarked: “If I touch anything from Redgate to MacLeans I?ll be lynched.”

The new plans revealed today changes pretty much everything apart from the sequence from Redgate to MacLeans. Here’s a look at the planned new track layout and buildings .

The key changes include:

  • Moving the start/finish line from its current location to a new position on the straight after MacLeans corner.
  • Replacing the left/right chicane (on the former Grand Prix circuit) with a slight left kink.
  • Extending the circuit by adding an inner loop including a long left-hander that leads into a new left-handed hairpin, followed by a right-hander that brings the cars onto the former start/finish straight.
  • From the diagram it appears that MacLeans corner is to be tightened.
  • New club house, suites, medical and media centre, toilets, pit and paddock buildings and grandstands

The news of Donington Park’s deal to host the Grand Prix was greeted with scepticism at the time and although this proposal shows their plans are concrete, it leaves some questions still hanging.

Where is the money coming from? The track owners have mentioned using some sort of debenture scheme to fund the upgrade, which is priced at ??100m, but details aren’t clear. Some rumours have suggested Bernie Ecclestone himself is putting some money into the project, out of a desire to take the British Grand Prix away from Silverstone, because of his dislike of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, which runs the event.

What about access into the circuit? Spectators who visit Donington Park even for fairly minor events often find themselves in long queues because of the limited access to the track. This proposal does not – as far as I can tell – attempt to redress that problem. A large amount of money was spent on upgrading the A43 at Silverstone only a few years ago. Brits on Pole suggest a deal with East Midlands Airport (more on them below) could be part of the solution.

There have been some disquieting moves behind the scenes in recent days as well. The chief operation officer of Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd, Lee Gill, stepped down from his position. Its financial controller and PR company have also left, though it is not known why.

Gill’s departure is thought to be linked to an investigation by North West Leicestershire District Council which found the circuit guilty of selling alcohol to under-age individuals. It was also rebuked for allowing the contruction of fairground rides and masts during the Moto GP race weekend in June which caused nearby East Midlands Airport to divert aircraft and close part of its runway.

Donington’s plans look promising and the early signs are quite encouraging – it intends to keep much of the circuits’ best features while modernising it. But these plans are a long way from reality. And Ecclestone has threatened that if Donington is not ready to hold the 2010 British Grand Prix he will not allow Silverstone to take over, even as a one-off.

British F1 fans will hope these plans turn into action very quickly.

Donington Park Master Plan 2010 circuit layout diagram (PDF)

More on the 2010 British Grand Prix at Donington Park

You can download PDFs of the plans in full here.

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39 comments on 2010 Donington Park F1 track revealed

  1. I like the look of the new track!
    interesting to see how it will look like when it’s built!

  2. Chalky said on 6th September 2008, 19:39

    Only 1 passing spot then for F1. I guess it’s not too different to other F1 circuits then.
    Dunlop bridge has to come down too, and that’s a shame. I hope it gets relocated.
    Coppice was always a challenging corner. The redesign and camber changes at this point will be the key stone to any passing opportunities. Get it wrong and that one passing spot gets removed.
    However now with 2 pitlanes and the shortcuts they can run 2 seperate (minor) events at once.

  3. santori said on 6th September 2008, 21:08

    It’s a pity the downhill infield sweep has to end in a hairpin but I think it looks quite promising.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing something similar at Dijon, actually.

  4. D Winn said on 6th September 2008, 21:35

    @Rob -post 13
    If you zoom in on the pdf the existing track section is marked as 10m wide and the new section as 15m wide.
    So it looks at this stage that the existing section will not be widened.

  5. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 6th September 2008, 21:57

    10m is enough surely – the cars are, what, 1.8m wide? (Off the top of my head).

  6. Steven Roy said on 6th September 2008, 23:32

    Stealthman,

    They started 26 cars from the existing start line in 1993. The most they will have next year is 24 if by some miracle Max can get some new teams in.

    I can’t believe they are pulling down the Dunlop bridge. That is criminal. A total lack of respect for the history of the place and the sport.

  7. Stealthman said on 7th September 2008, 7:21

    Steven, what I meant to say was that the pitlane is too short for modern F1. What F1 will accept in facilities and pitlane length is now different from what it would have accepted 15 years ago.

  8. ajokay said on 8th September 2008, 14:52

    I like this new layout. The designers have stayed true to their word about keeping the northern half of the circuit unchanged, keeping the width at a modest 10 metres. They’ve lopped off the chicane before the Melbourne Loop, making that one hell of a fast approach to the hairpin, that should be good for overtaking.

    Having reprofiled what is now the last corner, that looks like it could be a good overtaking place too, a fairly decent straight into a tight, uphill breaking point, much like the 2nd corner at the A1 Ring.

    That new 2nd corner left hand sweeper looks immence. providing they don’t change the elevation too much, thats going to be one very quick, very downhill swoop.

    They’ve also kept (yet lengthened) what is currently the final chicane, to effectively allow the old circuit to still be used, and those two new shorter circuits for club racing and the like makes it into a very versatile looking facility.

    I just hope they have the money and the time to finish it.

    I also hope we’ll still all be interested when it gets to 2010. What with the Belgian GP back-lash, it seems as if the only fans left in 2 years will be a handful of people in red t-shirts.

  9. Can not believe all the negativity, Silverstone has had many chances to gets its act together the problem is in 2008 you can’t be part of Multi-million pound sport and be run like a exclusive gentelman’s club relying on the Governement to give you hand outs to build your infrastructure. I am very happy the Grand Prix is moving to Donington Park as it is a far more existing track than Silverstone, and these new plans will make it a trully world class venue.
    It is nice to have a change of venue, why should it be only Silverstone that host’s the Grand Prix?

  10. I like the new layout, 3 potential overtake opportunities, 2 very fast runs into hard break corners and the old track’s best bits kept intact.

    I hate these new F1 Tilke-dromes. Acres of tarmac and miles of run off areas, i hope Doningtons revamp improves the track and the racing on it, not just for F1 but any other formula who uses it.

  11. SteveJR said on 10th October 2008, 18:15

    Well I believe the reason for relocating the pit and paddocks was length of track needed to house the cars, teams, staff and equipment necessary in F1 and not forgetting the entering & exiting of the pit lane due to F1′s high speeds! Leaving it in its original place would have meant radical changes at redgate. Which neither the track owners or Motogp fans wanted.
    Though I’m disappointed to see the iconic dunlop bridge disappear. I for one, hoped that donington park would host F1 again and will make it work! The new layout looks very reasonable to me. And as a Motogp & WSBK fan too; Wont the infield viewing be more up appealling with new track running through it??

  12. Hey all,
    I am writing something like assignment on this race track, particularly on the procurement route ( They like to use Design and build procurement route) which Donington venture leisure limited is using! can any one give me detials upon the entire project, I mean the contract documents, that will help me in my studies alot.
    Regards

  13. bcool said on 9th January 2009, 15:13

    you would think of all the money hassle it causes to adapt the circuits that they would be better off just building a whole new race track. it only cost 50m to build Rockingham raceway half of what it cost to adapt donnington!!!

  14. Alfie said on 17th January 2009, 14:18

    It’s a bike cicuit Leave it that way. Yes F1 was there before, but they left. Why change such a fantastic circuit just to please the fashionable F1 crowd. They’ve ruined Silverstone and now to the last great track of England.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 17th January 2009, 14:55

      Well MotoGP is off to Silverstone for 2010 so it matters less now. But I don’t agree it’s “a bike circuit” – one of the best races I ever saw was that epic BTCC race in the wet at Donington in ’98. And F1 at Donington in ’93 was pretty special.

      When I think of ‘bike circuits’ I think of tracks like Ricardo Tormo in Spain which are too tight and slow for full-blooded single seater racing cars. F1 cars shouldn’t be racing on those. Modern F1 cars going through the Craner Curves will be quite a sight – and a lot faster than bikes…

      And the last great track of England? We’ve still got Brands, Oulton and Cadwell and they’re all great.

  15. steven said on 18th February 2009, 8:44

    i think they should of left the track well alone, i dont care about formula 1 i think its boring, the airport had no problems with the moto gp when they have tv coverage and everything else they didnt need to shut a runway, now moto gp is going and f1 is at donington that is rubbish, its a bike track not f1 track, nobody is happy about the change cuz we spent the last 30 years paying to see races and stay on a crap campsite with diabolical toilets and showers, now that there is a revamp were all let down by donington glorifying the circuit for the most boring sport. in my opinion moto gp fans have been let down for greedy money grabbing people.

    • petergrifin said on 26th May 2009, 17:07

      Steven

      i agree 100% We have had to put up with 3rd world Facilities for yrs. And now the F1 comes along & everything changes. But I was there for the BSB & i really can’t see donnington changing. I can see the new F1 crowds having to put with what we have had to put up with for years!! I’m meant to be off to the WSB’s but after seeing nothing had changed in the last 2 yrs since i was last there I’m cancelling my tickets

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