Bernie Ecclestone on Wednesday warned that F1 could race away from Melbourne after 2015. The Albert Park event has a contract until then, but the F1 chief executive is pushing hard for the Australian organisers to agree to stage a night race.
“After then (2015), we really don’t know,” the 81-year-old Briton told the Melbourne newspaper The Age. “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.”
The Australian grand prix is also controversial locally, with its millions funded mainly by state taxpayers. Ecclestone hinted he might be prepared to cut the race fee if organisers agree to stage the race at night, providing a more suitable television slot back in Europe.
“We would have a look, maybe we could help subsidise that a little bit,” he is quoted by the Herald Sun.
He also told Australian reporters he will “probably not” attend next month’s season opener.