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F1 ‘can do without Monaco’ – Ecclestone

According to Bernie Ecclestone, formula one could survive “without Monaco”.

With India making its debut next year and the US returning to the 2012 calendar, the F1 chief executive is also desperate to tap into the Russian market.

But he is believed to be confined to a new agreement with team bosses to cap the annual calendar at 20 races.

With eight of the 19 current races, F1’s traditional heartland of Europe is the most represented on the schedule, but those venues pay the lowest promotional fees.

The Independent newspaper claims the average race fee is now $31.2m, but it is believed that historic Monaco pays nothing.

“The Europeans are going to have to pay more money or we will have to go somewhere else,” said Briton Ecclestone, 79.

“We can do without Monaco,” he added, admitting that axing the famous street venue is not likely but “they don’t pay enough”.

In 2007, Ecclestone admitted that Monaco is the best grand prix of the year.  “Monaco always comes close to the top, doesn’t it, because it is Monaco,” he said then.