Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone is adamant, perhaps unsurprisingly, that Formula One will survive the global economic crisis and has moved to downplay its impact on the sport.
Formula One has been hit hard by the financial downturn and the ensuing slump in the motor industry with Honda becoming the sport’s first victim after it pulled the plug on grand prix racing late last year.
In addition to concerns that more manufacturers may follow Honda out of the sport, there have also been fears that the crisis could impact on ticket sales forcing race promoters who are unable to afford Ecclestone’s fees to withdraw from the calendar.
However, according to the Global Motorsport Media service, Ecclestone has issued an uplifting message in the New Year saying that ticket sales will not be dented and that the image and popularity of Formula One remains as strong as ever.
On a visit to Serbia to rescue his marriage with wife Slavica the 78-year-old told the local press:
“As far as I know, all the tickets have been sold for almost every race in the next season. Moreover, we signed two huge deals, one with LG and one with DHL.”
“It’s simple, the big guns who want their add across the whole world understand that Formula One is the cheapest way to achieve it.”