Ecclestone offers to end Melbourne contract

Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) CEO Formula One Group (FOM). Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Budapest, Hungary, Saturday 30 July 2011.

Bernie Ecclestone

Mar.5 (GMM) F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has expressed frustration with the attitude of Australia’s Formula 1 race organisers.

Ecclestone is pushing for the Melbourne race, with a contract through 2015, to be held at night for a more favourable live time slot for TV Viewers back in Europe.

He may even be offering a fee subsidy, but formula one remains controversial within the Victorian state parliament, with taxpayers footing $50 million bills annually.

Ecclestone has reacted by offering to sit down and negotiate an early end to the Albert Park deal.

“If the government wanted to, we could certainly come to some terms, I suppose,” he told the Sunday Herald Sun from London.

81-year-old Ecclestone reportedly wants the government, led by premier Ted Baillieu, to come clean about his plans for the future.

“It would just be nice for somebody to say to me ‘Bernie, definitely, 100 per cent, we don’t want to renew our contract’,” he said.

So Ecclestone reportedly warned that Baillieu should begin talks now if he wants to keep the sport in Melbourne.

The premier’s spokesman reportedly said the government will not ‘take an open chequebook’ to the negotiations.

  • Brian

    What is with this old goat dwarf? He wants a race organizer that is already under pressure from many angles to add the expense of holding the race at night, to make it’s time slot more favourable to Europe but he keeps heading further and further East to time slots that are even more out of line with Europe, at venues where the locals know nothing of F1, and the circuits are sometimes so boring as to conspire with the time slot factor to put even die hard F1 fans like myself to sleep.

  • Peter

    I agree with you but the problem in today’s society is that everyone is greedy. These new races further east towards us here in Australia are due to the very deep pockets of the event holders. Take Bahrain for example if they don’t go ahead wIth it for some reason Bernie will still pocket £25 million which is crazy. In my opinion if he wants to move further away from Europe he should be stipulating these conditions before putting pen to paper not after 5 years.