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Page last updated at 11:32 GMT, Sunday, 21 June 2009 12:32 UK

F1 row 'hitting Donington hopes'

Simon Gillett
Gillett is sure Donington has the capacity to stage the British GP

Donington Park owner Simon Gillett says his efforts to get the £80m funding to host the British Grand Prix are being hampered by F1's current infighting.

Donington needs secure monies for upgrades but eight teams have threatened to form a breakaway series throwing the sport into turmoil.

"It's another speed bump," Gillett told Radio Five Live's Sportsweek.

"But you will see Donington has hit enough speed bumps and we are adept at getting over them and pushing forward."

Doubts have been voiced in racing circles over Donington's ability to stage the event - notably by Silverstone owner Robert Brookes, who has stressed that the current venue will be ready to host the race next year if required.

We already have World Superbikes, Moto GP and the Download - all events of this size - and we run those without a hitch

Donington Park owner Simon Gillett

But Gillett has remained bullish about the suitability of the course, and the financial commitment to preparing Donington for such a high-profile event.

"I wouldn't say it's hit the buffers. It's causing a bit of a slow down, but the people we're dealing with are intelligent people. They read the news and see it for what it is," he added.

"Donington will provide a different challenge and it's new.

"A lot of the drivers have grown up only knowing Silverstone so of course there will be some sadness, but there's no doubt that after five years of Donington Park they'll be saying how much they like it here."

Gillett also recently tried to ease concerns over Donington's capacity to stage an event of the scale of the British Grand Prix.

"We've just had [music festival] Download, which has a crowd that is 20% bigger than [the Grand Prix], Moto GP has a crowd the same as this - the only difference with Formula One is the paddock infrastructure, which is [why we're working] with our construction programme to accommodate that," he said.

"We already have World Superbikes, Moto GP and the Download - all events of this size - and we run those without a hitch.

"We've got a financing round going on now. By the end of July we'll have closed that financing round with one of our partners that we're talking to now, and we're very confident."



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