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Page last updated at 21:50 GMT, Thursday, 11 December 2008

Donington owner rejects sceptics

Donington Park
Donington Park last staged a Formula One race in 1993

Donington Park owner Simon Gillett insists he unconcerned about the scepticism surrounding his ability to host the British Grand Prix from 2010.

Gillett's company signed a 10-year agreement with Bernie Ecclestone to stage the race from 2010.

Although Gillett still needs planning permission for track improvements, leading to worries that the track will not be ready in time, he is confident.

"I don't have to convince people. I'll convince them by building it," he said.

Gillett needs to raise 100m to turn his circuit into a state-of-the-art facility and is due to be granted planning permission from North West Leicestershire District Council on 8 January.

It leaves him with just 17 months to build the facilities initially required, including a track extension, new pit and paddock complex, media centre, medical centre, clubhouse, along with suites at Redgate, Starkeys and Craner Curves.

Gillett added: "I'm not going to stand here and tell everyone 'you have to believe me, honest, please'.

"I'm not interested in that. They'll see when buildings come out of the ground and cars turn up on the grid.

"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."

We can achieve this, and that is what wakes me up in the morning to go to work, because I know we can do it

Donington Park owner Simon Gillett

Gillett also says he is fully aware of being tagged the man who lost Britain its grand prix if his plans do not come to fruition.

"It's fair to say I have given the British Grand Prix a chance when no one else was prepared to," he added.

"I've put my money where my mouth is, stepped up to the plate and thought the British Grand Prix important enough to save.

"I've done all the work and risked everything to get to this point."

Gillett is also adamant there is no plan between himself and Ecclestone to get the British Grand Prix off the calendar.

"Bernie is no fool. He hasn't come to me to make me some pawn in a game that will see the grand prix go to Moscow," he insisted.

"He could just take it to Moscow. He doesn't have to use me as an interim step to do that. There's no benefit.

"Instead, there was a real meeting of minds. We bent and flexed, he bent and flexed to get something that works.

"We can achieve this, and that is what wakes me up in the morning to go to work, because I know we can do it."

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see also
Scepticism greets Donington switch
04 Jul 08 |  Formula One
British GP will move to Donington
04 Jul 08 |  Formula One
F1 boss renews Silverstone attack
20 Nov 07 |  Formula One


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