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.