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DATE News (chronologically)
11/25/09
f1
track news
Gillett feels letdown by British government
Simon Gillett, leaseholder of Donington Park, feels let down over the British government's refusal to assist more when it comes to supporting the county's Formula 1 race. With his Donington Ventures Leisure Limited (DVLL) currently struggling financially, Silverstone looks to be the most likely venue.

With only two weeks remaining before the December 9 deadline set by F1 commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone, the British event's future continues to hang in the balance although, with Silverstone bosses saying that a deal is 'close', Gillett stresses the importance of the Grand Prix as a whole.

"To me, it's essential," he said of the race, be it at in Leicestershire or Northamptonshire. "Personally, I think we should have a British Grand Prix and it's a shame that other people within the UK don't agree on that."

Does the ex marine feel that London should provide a lump sum for the F1 race? "No-one is ever looking for a free handout from government but there certainly should be more support from central resources to make sure we have a Grand Prix," Gillett continued. "It's criminal when you see Wembley (Stadium, London) receiving 140 million pounds of free money from the government, for what is a very rich man's sport, but they'll not give a penny to the British Grand Prix, whether it's Donington or Silverstone - they won't come near the sport, which is a real shame."

Although one now looks to Silverstone to salvage the race, Gillett has already said this week that Donington - which continues to search for investors - is not completely out of the running. "The minute you say you are looking for finance, everyone looks to the Middle East and assumes it's from a Saudi prince," the DVLL head added, "but ours has come predominantly from mainland Europe and the UK itself."

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