Circuit boss says new investors could still land F1 race
25 November 2009

Donington Park could still host the British Grand Prix in 2010, according to track boss Simon Gillett.

However, Gillett, who signed the orginal contract to take F1 back to Donington, has conceded it would depend on a third party either investing in or buying out the company that runs the track.

Gillett's firm, Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd, went into administration last week after failing to raise the required funds to complete ambitious redevelopment plans.

However, Gillett claims there is still time for the key works to be completed before next year's grand prix, with the hospitality and other facilities completed for the 2011 event.

"Next year is possible, but it wouldn't be all of the construction," said Gillett, who estimates £50 million would be needed for next year's work and £40m for the following year. "You'd end up doing pit garages, race control and the bare essentials to get the track up and running for 2010, and there's still plenty of time for that to happen.

"It's a very short period of time that we are working to on that front, but it's a really good opportunity for someone. Where on earth can you buy a Formula One grand prix? Here you can, potentially. If someone is out there and has that funding at the moment, they have a unique opportunity to steal away the British Grand Prix.

"It would have to be 2010 because Silverstone would not take it for one year and no one, me especially, wants to see the British Grand Prix lost to the UK."

Silverstone remains favourite to land a long-term British Grand Prix deal, however, with interested investors in Donington more likely to want it to run as a national motorsport venue.

The completion of any buyout would need to take place within the next two weeks; Ecclestone has said that the 2010 F1 calendar must be finalised by 9 December.

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