F1 »

Ecclestone prepared to ditch Australia

Bernie Ecclestone hints that he would be prepared to drop Australia from the F1 calendar
Bernie Ecclestone has hinted that he could be prepared to drop the Australian Grand Prix from the F1 calendar if race organisers don't agree to make the event a night race.

While Ecclestone has been keen to make the Albert Park event a night race in order to suit a European TV audience, organisers have been unprepared to shift from the current early evening start-time – citing numerous reasons why they feel the change wouldn't be possible.

However, in an interview with The Age, Ecclestone revealed that unless the change occurred, he would be prepared to walk away from Australia even if would prefer to see the country retain a slot on the calendar.

"We have a contract which we will respect - so up until 2015 we are in good shape," he said. "After then, we really don't know. If we were to have a divorce from our friends in Melbourne we would probably be walking away from Australia. Because I can't see how Adelaide could make it happen, or anywhere else, if Melbourne can't. The race itself, from our point of view, is probably the least viable of all the races we have.

"We have other races ready to take the place of Australia - which we don't want to happen. But it would be wrong of me to have to report to our board, 'Terribly sorry about this but we have to walk away from wherever to retain Australia'."

Ecclestone's comments about the Australian race come at the same time as the commercial rights holder said he hoped Aussie driver Mark Webber to emerge as the biggest challenger to his Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel during the year ahead.

"I just hope, I really, really, genuinely hope that Mark has a good crack at the title this year because it would be nice to see," Ecclestone said. "I even think perhaps, in a funny way, Sebastien would be happy as well if he won the title - provided he couldn't.

"I think Mark will be the guy who will threaten him if anybody. The last time I spoke to him about it … he's really motivated now. I think he realises. I said to him, 'Sebastien is quick. You've got to be quicker. Keep your head down and don't make mistakes you could manage to get the job done'."



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
27.03.2011- Race, Start, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 and Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB7
27.03.2011- Race, Start, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7
27.03.2011- Race, start
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.