SOCHI (Russia): Formula One will not miss the Malaysian Grand Prix when it drops off the calendar after this year’s race because neighbouring Singapore is set to stay as the region’s showcase, former commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone said yesterday.
The 86-year-old Briton, speaking to Reuters at the Russian Grand Prix, also said he would not be buying Brazil’s Interlagos circuit.
That track is due to be sold off by local authorities who had talked up his potential interest when they announced their intentions this month.
Malaysia, which has been part of the world championship since 1999, will bow out in October, a year earlier than previously scheduled.
There have also been questions about the Singapore Grand Prix, a popular night race whose contract expires this year, with Ecclestone suggesting last November that talks were not going well.
Asked whether Malaysia’s departure was a blow, Ecclestone shook his head.
“No, not at all. We’ve got Singapore,” said the Briton, who was ousted in January as series supremo, but retains an undefined ’emeritus’ role.
“If we’d have lost Singapore it’s not good. But we haven’t lost Singapore, so it’s OK.
“They (Singapore) were going to stop… it’s OK now.”