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As the season opening Melbourne race approaches, evoking the usual comments from those opposed to the event, Bernie Ecclestone insists he wants to keep the race on the calendar for as long as possible.
Though the event has a contract until 2015, there is increasing pressure from taxpayers and politicians concerned at the rising cost of the event.
With no real alternative to Melbourne, if Australia is to remain on the calendar after 2015, Ecclestone insists that he would like to see the race remain in the Victoria capital.
"We hope we're going to be in Melbourne forever, he told the event's Keeping Track podcast. "We're happy with Melbourne and I'd be happy to sign a 50-year contract. We don't have a problem with Melbourne.
"I understand we do get a little bit of criticism," he continued. "I don't know why. You start wondering are we really wanted in Melbourne? It appears to be wanted now; whenever these sorts of things happen I'm told, 'Don't be silly about that, it's just one or two people making a noise'. We're happy for Formula One to be there."
However, just to make it clear that there are alternatives - without naming them - the F1 supremo issued the sort of threat with which we are all familiar.
"We get proposals from other parts, but we're happy in Melbourne," he said. "Everybody loves Australia and loves Australian people, and it's good to be there, and Melbourne, in itself, is a nice place."
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