• Indian Grand Prix

Ecclestone 'very happy' with India

ESPNF1 Staff
October 31, 2011 « Karthikeyan proud of home performance | Virgin poised to seek name change »
Bernie Ecclestone is pleased with how Formula One has been embraced in India © Getty Images

Bernie Ecclestone says he is "very, very happy" with the Indian Grand Prix organisers after a successful opening race.

The inaugural grand prix was deemed a success by the teams, drivers and media despite a number of teething problems and the circuit only being fully completed in the week preceding the race. The biggest compliment for the organisers, however, is likely to be from Ecclestone, who said there were only small aspects that needed to be improved for 2012.

"I'm very, very happy with it, and everybody else is as well," Ecclestone is quoted by Sporting Life. "We've nothing to complain about it. There are bits and pieces they (circuit owners the Jaypee Group) can do, but this is a prototype, so I'm sure they'll get down and have a good look at everything. They'll see there are things they could improve on, and I'm sure they will improve them."

Asked if he had been nervous that the circuit would not be ready, Ecclestone admitted it had been a slight concern.

"A little bit. I thought it wasn't going to get completed. But I kept seeing photographs every day, and it was improving. In the end we had a super crowd. If you had mentioned Formula One to these people (the fans) three years ago they would not have known what you were talking about. But it was a great crowd, a great atmosphere. Normally you get people complaining when there is something wrong, but I haven't heard any complaints about anything."

With the next new venue scheduled to be the Circuit of Americas in Austin, Texas, Ecclestone also allayed fears that the USGP organisers were having financial difficulties, while saying that he was prepared to push the race's debut back a year if it couldn't match India's example.

"I don't think they're struggling. I just think there has been a bit of a disagreement inside the company ... If you'd said to me a month ago: 'Is India 100 per cent going to happen,' I would have said: 'I don't know.' So ask me again a month before the race is due to be on ... We can have it next year or the year after. It's not the end of the world."