“Donington will deliver. We will definitely be celebrating tonight. This is a major step forward and one more target delivered. I remain committed to approaching every stage of this development with the same passion and vigor with which we attacked the planning stage, and I have endeavored to ensure that the same is true of the people who will work with me on this project,” said Donington boss Simon Gillett after being granted the planning permission.
“My eye is always on that fixed end date of July 2010. I remain confident and positive that we can and will achieve everything that we have promised and I won't rest until I am watching the British Grand Prix at Donington Park next year,” added Gillett.
The Donington Park owners will now have to come up with at least £40 million in funding in order to immediately start updating the track and other facilities. The circuit was given a deadline by F1 supreme Bernie Ecclestone earlier this week, who expects the work to be close to finalized by September this year. The estimate on how much money will have to be invested in the future F1 circuit is close to £100 million over the next 5 years.
However, in times of economic regression like these, finding someone willing to invest so much money into such a project is no easy job. And Andrew Hambel, CEO for the company that was engaged by Gillett to restructure the circuit's seat packages, is very much aware of that.
“Now is neither the best time to be persuading people to part with money for a new sporting proposition, nor is it the best time to be asking banks to back an offer of this sort,” admitted Hambel.