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Donington, Buemi and more
Donington, Buemi and more
Posted By:   |  11 Jan 2009   |  10:39 am GMT  |  7 comments

It’s been an interesting week for news, with the Buemi announcement, Donington getting its planning permission, FOTA making further cost savings and more on the Honda buyout. Here is my take on the week’s news digest.

Donington was granted planning permission to gear up for hosting the Grand Prix is 2010. This was the stage at which the Brands Hatch bid failed a few years back, so Simon Gillett and his team have done well to overcome that hurdle but many are still sceptical about the viability of this project. Ron Dennis voiced his concerns this week saying that the pound’s depreciation against the dollar will make the contract 25% more expensive for a start. He is also doubtful about the debenture scheme. I mentioned in an earlier blog that Gillet told me in December that the debenture funding was in place through Goldman Sachs and IMG.

Dennis’ voice is a significant one, but you also have to remember that he is a lifetime Guardian of Silverstone, along with Frank Williams, appointments the BRDC put in place a few years back to ensure that there would be protection against the track being sold in the future. So Ron does have a vested interest in this story.

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I still think that the whole Donnington issue is a joke,I think that it will be Brands Hatch all over again,and i will bet that the GP ends up being run at Silverstone under license as before.Lets face it,it`s still one of the best circuits in Europe if not the world.


On Donnington, I’m uninspired by the plans. I certainly don’t want yet-another-Tilke designed ring (even though I try to visit at least one Asian [read: Tilke circuit] race a year). However Donnington, even with their changes, doesn’t look like it’s going to create particuarlly spectacular racing. It’s not to the current standard laid down by Tilke and co.

However, attending the inaugural Singapore was incredibly special - and spoiled me forever I think. It's set the new standard and I just don't see how Donnington can live up to it -- from the action on the track through to the facilities.

I also now have a whole new admiration for street circuits, and my memories of the Regent Street demo (where over 100k people turned out) just spur me on to encourage the development of a London GP. If racing in Europe is to survive then we need to put on a better show than Asia - not rest on our laurels of heritage. I think that also plays to your point on encouraging new people to the sport.


Donington Park....i doubt it will happen! A shame though. But we already have a fantastic f1 facility in silverstone.
Buemi - nothing special, plenty of guys who were quicker than him in GP2 last year (Giorgio Pantano for e.g.), just another case of bringing in more kids hoping that their the next big thing, usually resulting in better / older drivers getting the boot (Irvine, Brundle, Barrichello in the past).
Honda - i kinda feel it serves them right for ditching Rubens who was equally matched to the (highly rated) Button (why ditch him then?).
Finally, loving the new site james, great to hear your true (non-t.v.marketing shackled) opinions on things.


James, I'm pretty undecided about Buemi too. His performances in GP2 have been inconsistent, and he was outpaced by Sato and Bourdais in identical equipment (though not necessarily identical setups/fuel etc.) at the first test of the winter. Since then he has had some good results in testing, but I'm not totally convinced yet, and do not have great expectations. Nonetheless, a reasonable driver who should not disgrace himself.


Buemi is in there because of Helmut, talent or talentless it's the same proposition as Bernoldi years ago. What Helmut says go...Bourdais and Sato all the way.


I think Donington will work, I dont like those who say Silverstone should keep the British GP...why?
The BRDC have had 5 years of chances, why should they keep the race and not promise to update Silverstone...thats is very unfair and its good that Bernie has moved the race.
Getting to Silverstone is horrendous, its in the middle of nowhere.
Donny has the M1 slap bang next to it, 3 major Cities of Derby, Leicester and Nottingham (all run buses to Donny/Airport), Loughborough Train Station runs links to Donny and Airport and also East Midlands Airport and I think that the owners of Donny can avoid the problems of the camera Helicopter and stuff by just meeting with the Aiprort Bosses...they know they could have some extra revenue come in with more flights and even F1 Cargo for race weekends....Im sure it will all be in place.


I am allways up at giving new talent a chance, barrichello we all know, is past his sell by date.
The new ferrari, pretty good looking car, but a wider set of rear tires would make it better still.
I hope the overtaken issue improves in 09. This is the most important thing at the moment.

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