How big a disaster was the resignation on Friday of Lee Gill, the Chief Operating Officer of the company that holds the contract to run the British Grand Prix at Donington Park in 2010?
At first glance, it’s very serious indeed. Gill is a highly experienced operator with a reputation for getting things done and although no reasons have been given for his departure, a man like Gill does not take on a commitment like that and then give it up on a whim.
Nor will Gill walking out do anything to improve what I detect are fairly low confidence levels in Donington’s ability to host a Grand Prix in less than two year’s time.
Indeed, among the journalists I’ve spoken to about it, I’ve yet to meet one who reckons it’s going to happen.
But there is another side to this story. In fact all Donington needs to host the Grand Prix is planning permission (to which the council appears currently to be lending a sympathetic ear), plus the money to make some fairly straightforward track revisions and install a new pit and paddock complex.
Raising this cash via a debenture scheme has been entrusted to Goldman Sachs and IMG, companies that did not build their considerable reputations by taking on no-hopers.