MARCH 5, 2004
Australian GP to miss 2006?
Bernie Ecclestone says that the Australian Grand Prix may drop off the Formula 1 calendar in 2006 because of the clash with the Commonwealth Games. The organisers of the Australian event are trying to get a date in April but Ecclestone says that it is not easy to switch around the calendar because of the contractual obligations that exist with other promoters.
"I don't know what we are going to do," said Ecclestone. "But I think will miss it for a year."
Melbourne has a contract to be the first race of the year but with the Commonwealth Games due to take place in the same period as the Grand Prix a problem has been created.
Australian Grand Prix chairman Ron Walker laughed it off.
"My dear friend, who I love dearly, keeps my life full of joy," he said. "After 20 years of negotiation with Bernie has seen things constantly changing. This morning at 10 o'clock he found two cigarette butts lying on the ground and the race was cancelled. Now it is back on again. Then he wanted $40m for next year's race because he's a better offer from a circuit in Patagonia. It is all part of the game."
Clearly, the 2006 race in Melbourne is being discussed at the moment.
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