• Australian Grand Prix

Todt gives backing to Australian Grand Prix

ESPNF1 Staff
March 15, 2011 « Hamilton won't tolerate 'another barren year' - Horner | »
Jean Todt: 'I think it is important to have one race in Australia' © Getty Images

FIA president Jean Todt has said Formula One should not lose the Australian Grand Prix, putting him at odds with Bernie Ecclestone who recently said the sport "does not need" Australia.

Todt's comments come against the backdrop of local debate about the cost of the annual Albert Park event to the local economy.

While in Melbourne for a road safety campaign one week before the F1 circus arrives, Todt said: "Formula One … is a sport and it is important, and if formula one does exist I think it is important to have one race in Australia because Australia is among the biggest nations in the world.

"Australia has been doing a great job together with people from [motor racing federation] CAMS. They have put Australia among the best grands prix in the season.

"Melbourne is a sensational venue with nice people, and when I arrived yesterday, I was thinking how good Melbourne is for Formula One."