SEPTEMBER 5, 2008
Changes at Donington Park
Lee Gill, Donington Park's chief operating officer and one of the partners in Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd, the company that operates the track, has ended his involvement with the circuit. This leaves Simon Gillett, the chief executive, running the business. The company has signed a 10-year agreement with Formula One Management Ltd to host the British GP from 2010, but the departure of Gill will inevitably raise questions about whether or not the plan to move the British GP is realistic, or whether he is leaving the business because he does not support the idea. The circuit says that Gill's departure will have no effect on the British GP plan.
The resignation comes after a critical public hearing about the way in which the circuit has been operated in recent months. The circuit accepted that that there were "significant failings" after a three-man panel concluded that the track could keep its liquor and entertainment licences, but imposed tougher conditions.
Silverstone continues to hope that Donington will be unable to meet its commitments for an F1 race and will have to turn to the Northamptonshire circuit for help.
Bernie Ecclestone says that if Donington does not make it there will not be a British GP, but a switch back to Silverstone may be possible under the terms of the deal, as happened a few years ago when Brands Hatch did a deal for the event and then had to hand the race back to Silverstone.