Keeping Track #47: Ecclestone says F1 ‘happy’ with Melbourne

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 14: Daniil Kvyat of Russia and Infiniti Red Bull Racing drives during final practice for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 14, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)Bernie Ecclestone has declared himself “happy” with Melbourne’s long-standing relationship with Formula One, with the Albert Park circuit set to host its 21st world championship Australian Grand Prix from March 17-20.

In an exclusive interview, the chief executive officer of Formula One Management told the ‘Keeping Track’ podcast that he was personally keen to secure the future of the race in Melbourne until 2023 before the retirement of Australian Grand Prix Corporation chairman Ron Walker last year.

“This is something I’d agreed with (Walker) – we got it signed so I’m very happy,” Ecclestone said.

“We’ve sort of become friends (with Melbourne). It’s been one of those sort of nice friendly relationships – it’s worked well, and everybody’s been happy. I’ve trusted the people completely and they’ve sort of trusted me, so it’s the best way to run a business.”

Ecclestone also endorsed Australian Daniel Ricciardo as an ideal international ambassador for the sport, saying the Red Bull Racing driver “has been super”.

“We need 10 more Ricciardos,” Ecclestone added.

Ecclestone also spoke about the expansion of the F1 calendar to a record 21 races this season, Ferrari’s quest to challenge Mercedes in 2016, and who he feels is Lewis Hamilton’s biggest challenger as the British driver chases a third consecutive world title.

Episode 47 of the podcast also reviews Formula One testing from Spain with Peter Windsor.

Listen here – and leave your feedback.

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