Formula One – Bernie Ecclestone looking to expand F1 to South Africa and Russia

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Formula One – Bernie Ecclestone looking to expand F1 to South Africa and Russia
Sports has a unique ability of bringing the world together as witnessed in the FIFA World Cup that concluded on Sunday in South Africa.
Now South Africa may be the next country to host Formula One race in the near future alongside countries like Russia according to the Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone.
Ecclestone who has been trying to spread the sport of Formula One to the farthest corners said that he hopes that a Formula One circuit will be ready In about 3 years time in Cape town, that would be equipped with state of the art technology and will be one of the best circuits in the world.

Eccestone said that Russia remains to be one place where we should have had a circuit long ago but still are some distance away from it.

The F1 chief in an effort to globalise the sport has been concentrating on focusing his attention on countries where Tobacco advertising is still not banned.

Countries such as China, Abu Dhabi and Singapore have already become a fixture of F1 calendar, India will also host its first Formula One race in 2011 and United States will also be back on the list by 2012.

Ecclestone  said that Russia though still remains at the centre of his plans and he is keen on taking the sport there, Russia are bidding to host the 2018 FIFA world cup and are also hosting the 2014 winter Olympics.

Ecclestone did meet the governor of St Petersburg to talk about the prospects of building a race circuit there, while he has also been trying to persuade the Russian Government to host a race in Moscow but all the efforts in the past came to nothing.

While answering to a question that said if the World Cup in South Africa had prompted F1 to host a race there, Ecclestone said that it is true that the World Cup success there made us realise that why should Africa also not have an F1 circuit, so now we are doing all we can to make that happen.

Ecclestone said that a sport like Formula One should be spread to all corners of the world, he added that as far as Africa is concerned it may be restricted to people who are directly involved in the business of F1, while Russia remains pretty much wide open.

He added that they have been in talks with people in South Africa for a while now, the chances are very good and all they have to do is find a suitable venue, and the rest will fall into place accordingly.

Ecclestone said that Cape Town still is the favourite in the running as it is the most cosmopolitan city in South Africa.

He added that the prospects look bright as far as Cape Town is concerned and at most it should not take more than 3 years to have a circuit ready.

He said that we are hoping that by staging a successful World Cup they would have understood that a mega sporting event can benefit the country in different ways, and a major sport like Formula One will add a lot to South Africa.

The F1 supremo does not hold the Olympics in high regard; he believes that a World Cup holds much more attraction than the Olympics which has become 2nd grade now.

Now it remains to be seen how successful Ecclestone is in his plans to expand the sport of F1, but looking at the vast advancements he has made in the last few years, it will definitely not be a huge surprise if we do actually see F1 GP’s in South Africa and Russia in the next few years.



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