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Simon Gillett: Q&A, Pt.3.

Thursday evening saw Donington Park receive the planning permission it required to move ahead with its plans to play host to the British Grand Prix from 2010.

Crash.net was amongst a group of journalists invited to sit down for a round the table chat with Simon Gillett, the chief executive of the circuit, at the Autosport International show to discuss the news and to get up to date with how the work is moving along.

This in-depth, three part, question and answer reflects on what Gillett had to say...


Q:
In the last six months, at least six grand prix have withdrawn or been canned or said they can't continue. Does that scenario not frighten you?

Simon Gillett:
I don't know the commercial terms they have. I know what our commercial terms are and we can support those.

Q:
You once said that when you signed, Bernie made the same offer to you and to the BRDC and whoever picked it up first would get it. If they couldn't make it work, why do you think you can?

Simon Gillett:
Maybe I was misquoted or I didn't make it clear. We both had contracts on the table but whether they are the same, I don't know. My contract was do-able, hence we picked it up. I don't know what their contract focused on but the elements we focused on made it worthwhile. But we both had the same opportunity.

Q:
But maybe not the same contract?

Simon Gillett:
I'm sure it wasn't the same contract.

Q:
In terms of the circuit, we know about changes made to the pit straight and to the new loop. But what kind of changes will you need to implement elsewhere? Will there be other revisions?

Simon Gillett:
Not at all. It remains untouched from half way down the current start straight all the way round to McLeans.

Q:
What about at the bottom of the Craner Curves on things like drainage as in national events in recent years we have seen water drain down to the old hairpin. Will there need to be work done there?

Simon Gillett:
Well I went to Silverstone this year and apparently flooding makes a great race! I was told it was the best race because Lewis was running through puddles! We have one of the best draining circuits in the country but if there is torrential rain then we will have a problem; like anywhere else. Drains have a finite capacity and if the rain is more than that then there is a problem but we have a new drainage plan and the drains will be kept clear. But we don't have to cancel races because of water, we are one of the few circuits that is able to drain because of the topography we have.

Q:
Which brings me to the question about races in the wet at Silverstone. In 2000 there was the race where cars in off-circuit parking were being towed out a week later. How will you prevent this if you have off-circuit parking as I assume you will be using farmers land for some of it?

Simon Gillett:


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