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Ecclestone: Indian Grand Prix could move for Bahrain

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Ecclestone on Monaco, Vettel and Bahrain
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone hopeful Bahrain GP will go ahead
  • Ecclestone tells CNN that inaugural India round could be rescheduled
  • Decision on Bahrain to be made by World Motor Sports Council on June 3
  • Ecclestone confident that F1 teams will not form their own breakaway circuit

(CNN) -- Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone is hopeful that the postponed Bahrain Grand Prix will take place this season despite the recent turmoil in the gulf kingdom.

"If there's peace there and they're happy, we're happy to compromise and make things happen for them," he told CNN in an exclusive interview.

Ecclestone added that a rescheduled Bahrain race could fill the slot currently reserved for the inaugural Indian GP in Delhi from October 28-30, a move that would delay the end of the season to the first weekend of December.

The World Motor Sport Council will decide on June 3 whether Bahrain is given the green light this season, two days after the current state of emergency is lifted in the kingdom.

If there's peace there and they're happy, we're happy to compromise and make things happen for them
--Bernie Ecclestone
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Ecclestone said the teams of Formula One were happy to race in Bahrain despite the recent civil unrest and bloodshed that occurred in the wake of the Arab Spring.

"I think the teams are happy. If it's safe and everything is good then I think the teams will be happy to support it.

"We've always tried to keep out of politics and religion and things like that. I don't really know and I don't know if people have ever found out exactly what the problems are," he told CNN.

"I think it started there (Bahrain) for the same reason it did in Tunisia. And it becomes catching -- 'why don't we do the same?'"

The 80-year-old said a lack of opportunities are provoking a wave of unrest among young educated people in developing countries.

"The guys go to college, they're there until they're 20 or 23 years old, spend all their life trying to do something. They achieve and then they can't find a job. So they get a bit upset and I don't blame them," he added.

"What's our problem in the world at the moment? Too many overeducated people. If we can find a way to do something about that then a lot of our problems will disappear," he added.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding its race date, Ecclestone had high hopes that India will help to spread F1's global fanbase.

"I think they can do a lot. It's a big marketplace. And in the end I think it will probably be bigger than China."

Ecclestone, who has been involved in Formula One since the 1950s, said he planned to carry on in his current role rather than retire.

"If I thought I couldn't deliver and that I wasn't doing a good job then I'd disappear. I just do a job and I try and keep ahead of the game with everything. I don't know how long I'm going to be here. I hope that as long as I'm here, I will be. But we'll see."

Typically robust, he poured cold water on talk of a new F1 circuit run by the teams when their current agreement with the FIA, the world governing body for motorsport, runs out in 2012.

"The teams aren't going to break away and do their own thing. They're going to try to negotiate if they can, to get a few more dollars if it's possible.

The teams aren't going to break away and do their own thing. They're going to try to negotiate if they can, to get a few more dollars if it's possible
--Bernie Ecclestone

"We've got all the circuits and the TV stations under contract. They wouldn't want to anyway. They couldn't produce as much revenue as we currently produce," he added.

"It's a bit difficult for the teams, they're all competing against each other, in a big conflict for finance and revenue. So you need someone that's outside, and I think that's what CVC are doing, and managing things quite well."

And as for the immediate future, Ecclestone has a high regard for the current title holder and standings leader Sebastian Vettel.

"First time I saw him race I said he's going to win the championship and -- thank God -- he proved I was right. He's come on very quickly."

Vettel leads 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton by a massive 58 points after claiming the Monaco Grand Prix, his fifth win in six races this season.

But if Bahrain is re-instated it will still leave 14 rounds still to be contested before season's end.