Ron Walker, the chairman of the Australian Grand Prix, has revealed that F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone feels 'let down' by comments from Melbourne mayor Robert Doyle questioning the value of the Albert Park event.
The future of the race has been in doubt for some time over increasing costs, with Doyle having questioned the viability of the event once the current contract comes to an end.
Ecclestone's response was to tell the German media that F1 'didn't need Australia' as the number of nations seeking to join the calendar increases and Walker has now admitted that Doyle's decision to 'insult the [F1] brand' could mean the end for the Australian GP.
"I think he [Ecclestone] feels let down that a mayor of a capital city for the first time in 40 odd years would question the value of an F1 race," Walker told the Herald Sun
. "A race that is equal in value to a World Cup or Olympic Games.
"He was quite offended by those remarks and even though he has very good friends here, and is very proud of Melbourne attendances, he has many other options. He doesn't want people to insult the brand.
"He will make up his mind in 2014…there's no shortage of people who want a race."