You all remember that Formula 1 is headed to a new circuit in a few weeks? The Korean Grand Prix is set for his big, inaugural race, right in the middle of one of the tightest championship races in memory.
A new track? Where none of the five leaders has ever raced? Potential for excitement, right?
Apparently, not to Bernie Ecclestone. Korea is so yesterday to Mr. E. He’s all about the future, and his new love: the Indian GP:
“We needed the right place really. We came close a couple of times earlier but it fell through. The people we’re dealing with now ( JPSK Sports Private Limited) seem to be sound and solid. It’s all coming along nicely,” Ecclestone told TOI.
New circuits often resort to tricks like a night race at Singapore, or the stunning construction at the Yas Marina Circuit at Abu Dhabi and one presumes India might just pull an elephant out of its hat to impress the who’s who of the world when they arrive in October for the inaugural race.
“No one can repeat what Singapore and Abu Dhabi have managed. I wouldn’t want anybody to copy that actually. I like to see each circuit and race with its own characteristics. The Indian Grand Prix is going to be grand,” Ecclestone, who’s planning to drop by after the Brazilian Grand Prix to check up on the circuit in Greater Noida, said. “The rains would’ve stopped by then. Work has really suffered I heard,” he remarked.
So sorry, Korea. But the next shiny thing beckons.
The Times of India does give us some other solid quotes from Bernie — solid quotes being about as solid as gas, of course. The TOI seems to understand that:
“We really should be at 16, to be honest. Twenty is plenty, that’s the limit. No more. I’ve been able to squeeze in 20 but I wouldn’t want to increase it. There’ll be mayhem otherwise,” he jokes. Ecclestone likes setting the cat among the pigeons and his comments on the ban on team orders being probably lifted at the end of the season had a similar effect in the paddock.
“It’s a team sport and they can use whatever strategy or tactics they want to use to win. We can’t tell them how they can run their team.”
Finally, there’s this tidbit: “The strains of the Ennio Morricone classic theme from ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’ fill the room. It’s Bernie Ecclestone’s phone ringing.” Don’t tell me you’re surprised?
So, does Bernie’s focus on India raise any worries about Korea, or do you suppose he’s just doing so because Korea is ready to go? And what about a calendar of 16 races? Want to guess which four drop off Bernie’s Dream Calendar?