Melbourne GP not needed: Formula One boss

February 11th, 2011 - 5:46 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Feb 11 (ANI): The chairman of the Australian Grand Prix corporation has said that Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone feels let down that the value of the Melbourne GP is being questioned, and added that the F1 boss could walk away from the event.

Ron Walker said on Friday morning that Ecclestone was “insulted and offended” after Lord Mayor Robert Doyle questioned the race’s value.

“I think he feels let down that a mayor of a capital city for the first time in 40 odd years would question the value of an F1 race. A race that is equal in value to a World Cup or Olympic Games,” Walker told The Herald Sun.

Walker is overseeing a revamp of the GP to give it more local entertainment focus and cheaper tickets as part of a bid to cut back costs up to one million dollar.

But he said he was confident that Ecclestone could walk away from the event. “He will make up his mind in 2014…there’s no shortage of people who want a race,” Walker said.

Walker, who said he spoke to Mr Ecclestone almost daily, said interest had been sparked from dozens of location including New York, and Warsaw.

He said Eccelston had told him he would be happy to relocate the race.

Ecclestone last night told German media that his organisation didn’t need the Australian leg of the race. “‘Twenty races is enough. If we have some new races, some others will fall out - we don’t need Australia, for instance,” he said.

Ecclestone has hinted Australia would be one of the first races to be axed, but is still expected to fly in for this year’s race. (ANI)

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