Bernie Ecclestone has hit back at the latest controversy surrounding the cost of Melbourne’s annual grand prix.
After reportedly seeing secret documents, local media this week revealed for the first time that the government pays a more than $30 million race fee to the sport, which increases by 5 per cent every year until the end of the contract in 2015.
Tourism minister Louise Asher said those figures are “too high”.
F1 chief executive Ecclestone hit back on local 3AW radio: “Maybe it’s not a true figure.
“It (paying) is up to them, isn’t it? I can’t make them sign a contract, they do it of their own free will. (But) they shouldn’t complain after they sign.”
Australian Grand Prix Corporation chief executive Andrew Westacott commented: “Melburnians have got to realise major events don’t grow on trees.
“They cost a lot of money to stage,” he told the Herald Sun.