Ecclestone Gives European F1 Venues Warning to Shape Up

December 7, 2012

Bernie Ecclestone has reiterated his warning to European F1 venues  to shape up or risk losing their grands prix as they do not have a “God-given” right to stage a race.

New locations have been added to the calendar in the last few years, with F1 moving away from its traditional heartland in Europe to venues such as Abu Dhabi, Singapore and India.

Ecclestone expects the trend to continue and has told the European venues to improve or risk disappearing from the calendar.

With Sochi scheduled to stage its first grand prix in 2014 after hosting the Winter Olympics, Ecclestone told the official F1 website: “I suppose the next big thing will be Russia.

“Then we have to get this New York thing picking up again,” the 82-year-old added in reference to the postponed New Jersey Grand Prix. “There’s lots of unfinished business – no time to waste one thought on retirement!

“Look at the Austin race: it was phenomenal. Everybody agreed that it is great that Formula One is back in the States.

“Maybe we’ll get the Europeans to wake up instead of thinking that it (a race) is a God-given thing. When Europeans perform and do their job we are happy to stay.”

Ecclestone also said he would change “nothing” about F1 and likened it to “show business”.

“We have to understand that we are in the entertainment business and this year we have entertained,” he added.

“All sports today are show business and it gets dangerous for a sport if people start to forget that.”