Melbourne grand prix boss Ron Walker has named some unusual rivals who could take the country’s formula one race from Australia.
As a spat between Melbourne’s Lord Mayor and Bernie Ecclestone develops, Australian Grand Prix Corporation chief Walker warned that there are plenty of alternative hosts bidding to slot onto the sport’s crammed annual calendar.
“The race will not leave here until 2015, that is for sure — unless the government decides to talk to Mr Ecclestone about termination,” he told the local Herald Sun newspaper.
Insiders likened Ecclestone’s angry response to Lord Mayor Robert Doyle’s recent comments as the calling of a bluff, and Walker warned that Australia should risk its place in F1 at its peril.
“There are a number of people who the race could go to, such as Russia, India and Warsaw in Poland,” he said.
Poland has rarely been seriously linked with an F1 foray, but Walker also had some more potential rival hosts in mind.
“Qatar, Dubai and Kuwait want one (a grand prix), and they are negotiating in New York for a race on Staten Island,” he said.
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