Ecclestone targets returns to South Africa and Mexico
Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that South Africa and Mexico are next on his wish list of future Formula One destinations.
This year will see the inaugural Indian Grand Prix at the end of October, before the sport returns to the USA in 2012 and expands into Russia in 2014. South Africa and Mexico both held races until the early 1990s and Ecclestone is keen to work with projects in those countries to see F1 return.
"After Russia I would like to go to South Africa and Mexico," he told the Independent newspaper. "Both countries are trying to do something." And despite its economic problems, Ecclestone was quoted as saying: "Greece are also trying to do a Formula One race. The Germans will lend them some money".
The F1 supremo is also confident there will be a full-calendar of 20 races in 2012 after getting assurances that next year's Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead on April 22.
"I spoke to the Bahrainis yesterday and they said everything is going to be fine," he said. "I hope they are right for their sake, not ours."
The Bahrain Grand Prix was originally postponed this year after martial law was declared in the island kingdom and then cancelled altogether when a date could not be agreed upon to reschedule the race. However, Ecclestone revealed that the cancellation did not cost the Formula One Group any money as the Bahrian government still paid the hosting fee, estimated to be worth £25 million by the Independent.
"I don't think turnover will be down this year. I think it will be flat because we were paid for Bahrain. I said we will give them the money back and they said don't bother." He added: "I think the turnover and profit will be more or less the same as 2010."