• Gillett insists it's 50-50 race goes ahead

Donington boss refuses to ditch Grand Prix dreams

ESPNF1 Staff
November 24, 2009 « Briatore will learn his fate on January 5 | »

Simon Gillett, the chief executive of Donington Leisure Ventures Ltd, which went into administration last week, insisted the circuit's hopes of staging the 2010 British Grand Prix were not dead.

While the general consensus is that Silverstone are odds-on favourites to stage the race if it goes ahead, Gillett was adamant that he could raise the necessary £135 million funding for the venue's redevelopment before the FIA's December 9 deadline.

"As far as I see it there are two tracks competing, so in my mind that makes it 50-50," Gillett said. "As Bernie [Ecclestone] said, if someone comes in now and invests in Donington, the chance is still there. The administrators are working hard and, if we had the money, we would have the 17-year agreement." He added there were "half a dozen people interested at the moment.

"Commercially we had a much better plan and that is why Ecclestone went with us in the first place. It was a solid plan and had great long-term growth.Unfortunately we caught the credit crunch at the wrong time and the banks closed the doors."

Ecclestone gave Gillett another glimmer of hope when he told the BBC: "They [Silverstone] had a contract in place that they could have signed if they'd wanted to, but they haven't. At the moment, there is no British Grand Prix."

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