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European F1 races told to 'wake up'

Bernie Ecclestone urges European F1 races to wake up if they want to retain their place on the calendar in future
Bernie Ecclestone had warned the European races on the F1 calendar to work harder to ensure they retain their places on the schedule in future.

Recents seasons have seen more races added to the schedule in new locations – such as Abu Dhabi, Korea and India – with fewer races on European soil.

Indeed, a decade ago, 64 per cent of the races on the calendar were in Europe compared to 40 per cent this season – a figure that will remain the same next season after the addition of another un-named European event to replace the delayed race in New Jersey.

With a desire to expand the F1 calendar into new markets, Ecclestone said it was important for the existing races in Europe not to become complacent and assume that their places on the calendar are a given.

“Yes, I suppose the next big thing will be Russia,” he told the official F1 website when asked if he planned to carry on adding new races to the calendar. “Then we have to get this New York thing picking up again. There's lots of unfinished business - no time to waste one thought on retirement!

“Look at the Austin race: it was phenomenal. Everybody agreed that it is great that Formula One is back in the States. Maybe we'll get the Europeans to wake up instead of thinking that it (a race) is a God-given thing. When Europeans perform and do their job we are happy to stay.”

Ecclestone added that, aside from entering new markets, he didn't feel F1 needed to make radical changes in the coming years.

“Nothing really,” he said when quizzed on changes for the future. “We have to understand that we are in the entertainment business and this year we have entertained.

“All sports today are show business and it gets dangerous for a sport if people start to forget that.”

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Bigmac - Unregistered

December 08, 2012 10:35 AM

How about this Bernie? Instead of constantly ripping out the heart (whats left of it) of F1 by always selling out to the highest bidding countries around the world, regardless of said country having any interest/history of F1, you try and really help some of the old circuits and venues remain on the calender. Of course I realise serious money has to be invested each year just to keep F1 alive, but if you keep taking the sport away from countries that have a genuine fan base, then F1 is gonna be in trouble. It seems that unless a track/venue has financial backing from its countries government, its impossible almost to pay Bernie what he wants, and to make the upgrades needed for modern day F1.

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