Home | News | Features | Drivers | Teams | Seasons | Galleries | Circuits | Forum | Shop
It is claimed that Bernie Ecclestone is to miss this weekend's 2013 season opener in Melbourne as a snub to the state's new premier.
According to reports in sections of the Australian media, by missing the race Ecclestone will avoid meeting new premier Dennis Napthine thereby delaying negotiations regarding a new contract for the event.
The current contract runs out in 2015 however, amidst growing anger from taxpayers and some local politicians over the (rising) cost of staging the event there is concern that Melbourne could lose the race.
Napthine took over as premier when Ted Baillieu stepped down suddenly last week, the exact reasons for his decision still unclear.
While Pitpass sources suggest that Ecclestone was not going to attend the Melbourne race anyway, the local media suggests that the F1 supremo's decision not to attend the season opener is a direct snub to the new premier. Furthermore, it is claimed that Ecclestone will now delay negotiations regarding a new contract until much later in the year.
Australian Grand Prix Corporation chairman Ron Walker insists that Ecclestone's absence will not have an impact or detract from the race. "Premier Napthine will still give out the official awards and be involved in speaking to key sponsors and teams and so on," he said, "but negotiations will not begin until later in the year, around the time of the Singapore Grand Prix."
Referring to the cost of the race, one of the main sticking points in terms of the new contract, he said: "The government has given up to $1.5 billion (AUD) to keep the tennis in Melbourne for another 30 years. We only cost $50 million (AUD) a year. This is the biggest free-to-air television event around the world that promotes Melbourne with all the Melbourne signs we have."
Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2013. All rights reserved.
About | Advertise | Contact | Copyright | Privacy & Security | RSS