ernie Ecclestone hopes that Formula 1 has now found a permanent home in the United States after reaching a deal to hold a race in Austin, Texas from 2012.
A new purpose-built venue is planned for just outside the Texan city, and Ecclestone is keeping his fingers crossed that the track will allow the sport to secure its future in the important American market.
“I have been looking for the right place and they are going to build a purpose built facility like we have here in Turkey,” Ecclestone told AUTOSPORT. “I hope now that we have a permanent home.”
Ecclestone confirmed that other venues – including New Jersey and Monticello – had been looked at – and did not rule out the United States even holding more than one race in the future.
“Maybe,” he said when asked about the possibility. “We have to wait and see.”
Ecclestone also played down speculation that F1 would not be returning to Turkey, as he pushes for a fresh 10-year contract for the Istanbul venue.
“I’ll be here next year, I’ll be here for the race,” he said. “We are talking about signing a 10-year deal with them.”
Speaking about the difficulties of attracting big crowds to the Turkish venue, Ecclestone said: “Yeah, it’s not good. But you have to remember if you had come here 10 years ago and said F1, people would not have known what you are talking about. It takes a long time for people to understand. But they will get used to us.”
Ecclestone said he was also keeping a watching brief on the ongoing political situation in South Korea – amid growing tensions with its neighbour North Korea.
When asked if problems there could threaten this year’s inaugural grand prix from taking place, Ecclestone: “If there is, we won’t be there obviously.”
Pushed for when such a decision would be made, Ecclestone said: “When the army move in, I suppose.”