Bernie Ecclestone: F1 doesn’t need Australian Grand Prix

The Sport Review brings you a round-up of all of the latest news from the world of Formula 1

By Gareth Llewellyn
bernie ecclestone

bernie ecclestone

Williams F1 has announced details of next month’s flotation on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, making it the first publicly-traded Formula 1 team.

The British team has announced the price range of the shares released in the initial offering, with shares in the 27.39 per cent stake on sale costing between €24 and €29, valuing the company at €265m.

The team’s founder Sir Frank Williams has moved for flotation after losing a number of sponsors in 2010 and believes the team’s “future as an independent constructor is sustained by this listing.”

Pelham Bell Pottinger has been appointed to help advise the company and oversee the initial transaction. They will also be handling investor relations and corporate communications.

Karun Chandhok has revealed he is still some way off becoming Team Lotus’ reserve driver for 2011.

The former Hispania Racing driver, who was dropped after the 2010 British Grand Prix, will test for Team Lotus in Jerez this week, with a view to joining the team for the forthcoming season, but denies reports that it is a done deal.

Bernie Ecclestone has said F1 does not need the Australian Grand Prix after reports Down Under questioned future viability of the race currently held at Melbourne’s Albert Park. The current deal is set to expire in 2015, and Victoria is unsure whether to extend that deal.

Ecclestone would be happy to drop the Australian Grand Prix as he moves into new markets, and with races in the USA (2012) and Russia (2014) set to be added to the calendar, and many other countries hoping to enter, F1’s supremo will happily dispense with current venues to maintain a 20-race calendar.

Other venues in Australia have already been mooted as potential replacements, should the race move from its current home.

Hispania Racing has revealed that it will skip testing at Jerez in order to join Pirelli for a special filming session at Monza.

The team will take part in filming for the new tyre supplier for three days from 14-16 February before heading to Barcelona to rejoin the remaining teams for the third test session beginning on 18 February.

Still developing its 2011 car—the F111—Hispania will run its 2010-spec car in testing, with the new challenger not expected to be seen until the final test in Bahrain from March 3-6 ahead of the opening race of the season at the Sakhir circuit on March 13.

New F1 tyre supplier Pirelli is yet to confirm how it will distinguish between the Prime (harder) and Option (softer) tyres that teams must use during the course of a race, but insists a system will be ready for the opening race.

Former supplier Bridgestone used a green stripe on the Option compound to allow for easy recognition of which tyre was being used.

And finally…

Twelve drivers have been selected for this year’s inaugural FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy organised and run by motorsport’s governing body, with former F1 driver Alexander Wurz providing in-car coaching and Robert Reid—former co-driver of the late Richard Burns—providing coaching out of the car.

The lucky men are Robin Frijns (19) and Kevin Abbring (21) from the Netherlands, France’s Paul-Loup Chatin (19), Israel’s Alon Day (19), Albert Costa (20) from Spain, Austria’s Philipp Eng (20), Stoffel Vandoorne (18) from Belgium, USA’s Alexander Rossi (19), Richie Stanaway (19) from New Zealand, Norway’s Andreas Mikkelsen (21), Egon Kaur (23) from Estonia, and Sweden’s Timmy Hansen (18).

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