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Ecclestone responds to NASCAR criticism

26 February 2014

Bernie Ecclestone has responded to criticism from the boss of the Texas Motor Speedway over the timing of the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas.

The F1 event will take place on the same weekend that NASCAR is competing 220 miles away at the venue run by Eddie Gossage.

The circuit boss has been outspoken in his views on the calendar clash, stating that the decision to run the F1 race on the same weekend as the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup event was 'not smart and that 'Ecclestone does a lot of foolish things'.

Gossage also hit out at COTA officials for not having the 'strength and the fortitude to stand up and say no' over the date, but Ecclestone responded by saying that it was important to consider the logistical issues faced by F1 as it travels around the globe.

"We've a small problem they [NASCAR] don't have,” he told the Press Association. “We have six jumbo jets to move around all our equipment, and we have to find the most sensible way to use them to do that.

"We have to be efficient, and bear in mind we may also encounter problems at an airport. There are issues that can occur, but he and other people do not realise these things.

"The race prior to the one in the US is in Russia, in Sochi. We've never been before, and we have to get out of there and into Austin. That is probably a lot easier than trying to get into Brazil, and then we have to get out of there [São Paulo] to go to Abu Dhabi.

"So he is extremely lucky he doesn't have to do what we have to do."

Ecclestone added that the two series' were looking at different markets and the clash shouldn't have an impact on either race

"I've also spoken to the people that run the race at COTA and they believe the NASCAR crowd is a different crowd to Formula One, different people, different customers," he said. "At the end of the day they run a domestic series in America – we run a world championship."


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