F1 »

Donington boss Gillett thriving on scepticism.


Donington Park owner Simon Gillett has admitted that proving doubters wrong about his ability to bring the circuit up to Formula One standard in little over a year is acting as perhaps the biggest spur of all.

Gillett, CEO of Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd, received a major boost to his plans to construct a worthy replacement to Silverstone as home of the British Grand Prix when North West Leicestershire District Council granted planning permission for a £100m revamp of the venue, which has been handed the chance to run the UK round of the world championship from 2010.

The proposal approved late on Thursday [8 January] involves the addition of a new loop of circuit heading from the Goddards hairpin down into the existing infield, plus the construction of a new pit and paddock, grandstands and infrastructure facilities including hospitality and media buildings.

Gillett has also revealed that he plans to make the event the first to be served largely by public transport, following doubts about the circuit's ability to cope with levels of grand prix traffic, and the council's approval has been granted provided a strategic event management plan is supplied.

"This puts us on the world stage with places like Bahrain," Gillett enthused to the BBC, before admitting that he is looking forward to proving the project's many naysayers wrong after they raised doubts about the venue's ability to be ready for its return to the F1 calendar next year.

"They'll see when buildings come out of the ground and cars turn up on the grid," he smiled, "If they still want to sit at home not believing me, that's their prerogative. To be honest, I love the scepticism. It's what motivates me. The more the experts tell me it won't happen, the more I seem to achieve. I feed off it. It doesn't concern me at all. I have my goals and I know they're realistic."

The next major hurdle for Donington to cross is sourcing the finance to bring Gillett's dream to life, although work is expected to start almost immediately on a new pit and paddock area alongside Starkey's Straight, running from Coppice towards the Melbourne hairpin. In all, the circuit has roughly 17 months to raise both money and facilities in order to be ready for the British Grand Prix next summer.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Simon Gillett, the new owner of Donington Park
Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team with Julien Simon-Chautemps (FRA) Renault Sport F1 Team Race Engineer.
26.08.2016. Free Practice 1
31.07.2016 - Linkin Park, American Rock Band
31.07.2016 - Chester Bennington (USA), Linkin Park
31.07.2016 - Chester Bennington (USA), Linkin Park
07.07.2016- (L to R): Simon Lazenby (GBR) Sky Sports F1 TV Presenter; Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1; Johnny Herbert (GBR) Sky Sports F1 Presenter; Damon Hill (GBR) Sky Sports Presenter.
20.03.2016 - Race, Celebration, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
20.03.2016 - Race, Celebration, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
20.03.2016 - Race, Celebration, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
20.03.2016 - Race, 1st position Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid, 2nd position Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and 3rd position Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
20.03.2016 - Race, 1st position Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid, 2nd position Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
20.03.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
20.03.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
20.03.2016 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
20.03.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
20.03.2016 - Race, The red flag after Crash with Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
20.03.2016 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
20.03.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Tim Burr - Unregistered

January 09, 2009 1:33 PM

Whats the matter Sunny no pearls of wisdom from you? As my local circuit and one I have spent a great deal of time at,I watch the developments with interest but also with concern that the finances for the proposal may prove difficult to find at the present and I hope a half hearted effort does not spoil what is already in place.For those who are hoping to see a circuit in similar quality to those being built around the world,it will never happen without state funding and the British government will never and should never spend tax payers money on helping what is a private venture be a success.I wish them well for the future however.



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.