Ecclestone open to two races in India
India can hope to host two F1 races within the next decade but the country faces plenty of competition on a crowded calendar, according to the sport’s supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
In a conversation ranging from sacred cows on India’s roads to Lewis Hamilton’s move to Mercedes next season, the Briton told reporters at the Indian Grand Prix that a second race in the country was a possibility.
“We’ve got too many races now either in the championship or about to go in. So, later on maybe. Three or four years,” he said.
Ecclestone doubted it would be in Mumbai, home of the ‘Bollywood’ film industry and the country’s financial capital, but “one of the other big places” instead.
Asked whether Mumbai would not be the obvious place, with tomorrow’s race catering for the capital at the Buddh Circuit some 45km south of New Delhi, he grinned mischievously: “Probably is, actually.”
Next year’s calendar will have 19 races with New Jersey’s debut postponed to 2014 and Valencia now alternating with Barcelona.
Russia is due to make a first appearance in 2014, with a race following on from the Winter Olympics in Sochi, and Mexico and Thailand are among those countries also pushing to be included.
Ecclestone said next year would be too soon for Mexico, whose interest is likely to soar with Sergio Perez replacing Hamilton at McLaren.
“They haven’t got a circuit that’s ready,” said Ecclestone, who shook his head when asked about the old one.
“That’s the problem. It’s the old one. It just needs sorting out a bit.”