F1: Mandelson leans on Ecclestone over British GP – and other stories

By LJ Hutchins

CalendarWednesday, April 29th, 2009

 
 

Here’s some further reading for those of you following the fate of the 2010 British Grand Prix – including a story in the Daily Telegraph suggesting that the business minister Lord Mandelson is leaning on Bernie Ecclestone to make sure the race goes ahead.

It also states that Donington Ventures Leisure Limited (DVLL) is negotiating a refinancing of credit agreements worth up to £80 million and that the Government wants the race sent back to Silverstone if the Donington Park plan cannot be saved.

DVLL has also stated that it will make further details of its financial position available shortly. You can read the full story by following the link below.

We learn, from The Telegraph and also from the ITV F1 website that the track’s licensing problems are being tackled by extending the tunnel under the straight between Copse and McLeans corners, thus returning some of the run-off that was lost in its original construction.

The Guardian
claims that Mandelson has reminded Ecclestone of something that we seem to remember grousing about last September – that the Government has already supported the British Grand Prix to the tune of quite a few million by investing in the transport infrastructure around Silverstone via the East Midlands Development Agency – and may fund further work there.

“The discussions,” it says, “were inconclusive.” Any flies on the wall must have been richly entertained. There are certainly no flies on either of the participants.

The popular rumour that Bernie Ecclestone will in some way step in to save the day (sometimes according to a pre-determined plan that he’s had all along to personally become the race promoter) is getting a good airing today, with Yahoo News reporting that he’s bought the rights to his own race off Simon Gillett.

How the hell does that work, exactly? Oh, right – he has to buy the debt as well. Fair enough… GrandPrix.com seems to have heard a similar story.

And finally, we would definitely recommend the Pitpass story that started the hare running, in which Ecclestone is reported to have ‘let slip’ that the banks were stepping back during a pub lunch with business editor Chris Sylt. That’s linked at the bottom.

Happy reading. Mind you, by the time you’ve got through this little batch of stories there’ll probably be another collection of rumours just as big…

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