Ecclestone dismisses Red Bull Ring talks, still aiming for Turkish GP
By Berthold Bouman
FOM CEO Bernie Ecclestone has rubbished rumours that the Austrian Red Bull Ring would be a candidate for the mystery Grand Prix scheduled for July 21 next year, he said to the Austrian “Kleine Zeitung.”
Recently the New Jersey Grand Prix in the United States has been postponed until 2014, and Formula One’s governing body the FIA and Ecclestone are trying to find a replacement race in Europe.
But it’s certainly not going to be the Red Bull Ring in Austria, Ecclestone today confirmed. Asked about the Austrian circuit he said, “Oh, really? Who says that? I haven’t spoken to anyone about it!”
Asked why Austria wasn’t on his list he answered, “Well, the hotel situation is still just a disaster. It was always a problem. I think it’s [Red Bull Ring] not suitable for today’s Formula One.
Ecclestone is still thinking about the Turkish Grand Prix at Istanbul Park, drivers and fans love the circuit with its famous Turn 8, and the Formula One boss said, “Right now I’m thinking about Istanbul.”
But the Turkish government has already stated they will not fund the race. Turkey’s sports minister Suat Kilic said, “There is nothing on the government’s agenda about the return of Formula One to Turkey. This is an issue that entirely concerns the private sector.”
And he added, “Our government paid $13.5m a year to the organisers for five years for the rights. In exchange for that, all the income went to the organisers, so the state did not get any benefit from it.”
But Ecclestone today warned the Turkish authorities, “I rather think that next year we will have only 19 Grands Prix. That would be no problem.” Ecclestone also stated the decision will be made ‘early next week’.
Ecclestone still aiming for Turkish GP at Istanbul Park