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. Steven Roy said on 18th February 2009, 15:06

    Donington was charged with several offences as a result of their Moto GP event including having structures so high that the airport could only use half of the runway.

  2. Aiky30 said on 15th April 2009, 1:09

    WOW. this is wicked about time donny won it back.

  3. Louis said on 8th June 2009, 13:09

    Hey Guys,

    Ok don’t yell at me here, but i am personally more of a fan of Moto GP than F1. Donington has been part of the Moto GP calendar for the best part of 20 years, and is revered as one of the most loved and popular Grand Prix.

    Yes, getting in and out of the circuit is a bit of a drag, but for the past few years the organizers have done a fantastic job. There was a slight mishap in 2008 when a ride was constructed in the wrong place, forcing EMA to close a runway however this was the fault of the ride owner, not the organizers.

    There has been lots of talk about planes dropping fuel on the MacLeans corner. However since the resurfacing of the track 3 years ago, there has been no problems.

    Donington is regarded as a favorite of Riders like Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo and Troy Baylis. The heritage and history of this track is second to none, and i am sure will be a welcome addition to the F1 calendar.

    The new layout seems very interesting to me, and to be honest i am very disappointed that Moto GP will not get to experience it. I will be sad to see the track go from out Calendar, but happy to see it in F1.

    My advice to all of you would be to just wait, and give Donington a try. You will see how wonderful the place is, and with all of these changes being made, the place will become Magic…..especially compared to the likes of the Valencia Street Course, or Sakir

    Seriously guys, you don’t know how luck you are to be getting it.

  4. I agree, F1 is very lucky to be getting F1. I’m far more interested in motorcycle racing. I’ve ridden donnington many times and its a great shame to be loosing the current layout. On the other hand the new section looks pretty exciting. I’m assuming domestic championships will still be using it, so I look forward to trying it out.

    The biggest shame though is, i bet they smooth out the sharp drop under the old dunlop bridge which is great on a bike (although i remember is was never very good for F1 cars before)

    F1 is getting a very good venue, so i hope it all goes well. Louis, MotoGp is getting a very good track in the new Silverstone which looks like a mega track too.

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