Melbourne GP faces extinction

Bernie Ecclestone.
Bernie Ecclestone. Getty Images News - Alexandra Beier

THE Australian Grand Prix is the ''least viable'' of all the formula one races and unless Melbourne introduces a night race it will be scrubbed from the calendar after the contract expires, according to F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone.

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"We have a contract which we will respect - so up until 2015 we are in good shape," a candid Ecclestone said last night. "After then, we really don't know. If we were to have a divorce from our friends in Melbourne we would probably be walking away from Australia. Because I can't see how Adelaide could make it happen, or anywhere else, if Melbourne can't. The race itself, from our point of view, is probably the least viable of all the races we have."

He said countries were lining up to replace Australia on the calendar and only a night race - so it could be broadcast in Europe in the afternoon instead of early morning, would save it.

"We have other races ready to take the place of Australia - which we don't want to happen," he said.

"But it would be wrong of me to have to report to our board, 'Terribly sorry about this but we have to walk away from wherever to retain Australia'.''

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Topics:  formula one

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