autosport.com
Search:
Find out more about our subscriptions
  AUTOSPORT+ LOGIN AUTOSPORT Plus  
Username:
Password:
F1 NEWS 

Gillett insists British GP is not in doubt

Simon GillettDonington Ventures boss Simon Gillett has vehemently denied that the British Grand Prix's move to Donington Park has been jeopardised by the circuit-owning Wheatcroft family's legal action against his company.

The Wheatcrofts recently announced that they were suing Donington Ventures over an alleged 2.47 million in unpaid rent and were seeking to end the firm's lease on the circuit, which is scheduled to host the British GP from 2010.

But Gillett insisted that the Wheatcrofts remained supportive and that the current disagreement between them would be swiftly resolved.

"We're still going to make sure the grand prix is here," Gillett told the BBC. "We have our little trials and tribulations at the moment, but we're still going to make sure the grand prix's coming to Donington next year.

"Headlines are always headlines. There's a lot going on in the background that we can't go into at the moment, but that gives us confidence because we know what's going on behind the scenes.

"Between us and the Wheatcrofts we had an agreement of ongoing works and a way that we could allocate funds over a period of time during the winter. We've used them elsewhere and we're working with the Wheatcrofts to resolve that issue. But you should see a resolution on that one very soon.

"We'll be in a position to sort that out very soon, and we're working through the detail of that as we speak."

When asked if the legal action had put the British GP in jeopardy, Gillett replied: "No".

Donington had originally been expected to reveal full details of the debenture scheme that will fund its huge revamp in March, but the anticipated announcement never took place. Gillett admitted that the global financial crisis had hit Donington's plans.

"The debenture scheme was gone forward as we thought. The research and the first phase of that have come out as we wanted," he said.

"What's changed is in the wonderful world of banking at the moment. We had a bit of an issue with our private funding source. We're now having to go back and look at other alternative funding sources for the debenture scheme. But we're positive on that. We should have some answers on that very soon.

"We've seen many a strong bank go west. It's nothing to do with Donington Park, but the world of banking has changed. So the bank that we were planning to work with at that point has decided they're not in the market anymore. So we've had to go and find alternative banks, and there are banks in the market for it, and we're working through the detail now."

He insisted that the rebuilding project could still be completed on schedule despite the issues facing Donington at present.

"We've had a nine-month construction programme, and that's never changed," said Gillett.

"We've always known that we could do everything we had to in nine months. We had a bit more leeway than we've alluded to in the past, and we've had to use that. We'd rather have used it in the construction phase, but we're having to use it in the financing phase."

Yesterday North West Leicestershire District Council agreed to give Donington's operators and owners until 30 June to sign the Section 106 document it needs to avoid planning permission for its rebuild being revoked. The legal case between the Wheatcrofts and DVL will be heard on 8 June.

Subs
  More news  
    advertisement
  RELATED LINKS
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the autosport.com shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
  FOLLOW AUTOSPORT ON
FOLLOW AUTOSPORT ON TWITTER
Paddock insight from group F1 editor Jonathan Noble
Grand Prix news updates from F1 editor Edd Straw
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed
  RELATED STORIES
Hill: Silverstone upgrade was needed
Coulthard gives Arena the thumbs-up
Q & A with Richard Phillips
Silverstone eyes '11 for new pit complex
Webber: Arena layout good for Red Bull
Silverstone unveils new Arena layout
Silverstone works near completion
Silverstone to use new track for 2010 GP
Silverstone close to 'Arena' go-ahead
Q & A with Richard Phillips
Silverstone set to decide on GP layout
Silverstone confident over ticket sales
Silverstone plans new British GP layout
Button glad Silverstone is staying in F1
Hamilton delighted by Silverstone deal
Q & A with Damon Hill
Hill feared for British GP future
Ecclestone welcomes Silverstone deal
Silverstone secures British GP from 2010
British GP fate to be known on Monday
Donington could still host British GP
Time running out for Silverstone deal
Ecclestone sets deadline for Silverstone
No government funds for Silverstone
Silverstone closing in on GP deal
Ecclestone: Donington hopes are over
Whitmarsh: F1 needs British GP
Final deadline passes for Donington
Ecclestone warns Silverstone over deal
Silverstone already in 2010 GP talks
Donington admits bond plan has failed
Donington appoints Sir Rodney Walker
Donington's bond rated high risk
Donington unveils funding plans
Ecclestone denies Donington's deadline
Donington gets new deadline extension
Ecclestone pessimistic about Donington
Donington handed extended deadline
Donington confident over track progress
Ecclestone issues Donington ultimatum
Hill 'anxious' over Donington plans
Ecclestone: British tracks could share GP
Donington rebuild to begin in August
Donington gets final planning permission
Donington not concerned by F1 crisis
Ecclestone open to Silverstone return
Mosley: Silverstone may keep British GP
Q & A with Donington's Simon Gillett
Donington gets legal document boost
Silverstone fears for British GP future
Gillett confirms 17-year British GP deal
Donington's legal dispute resolved
Legal bid prompts new British GP doubts
Haymarket