Ecclestone relieved by Indian GP success

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone was relieved his pre-race nerves were eased following the success of the inaugural Indian Grand Prix.

Motorsports news: Bernie Ecclestone

Even just two weeks prior to Sunday's history-making race, Ecclestone had doubts as to whether the event would go ahead given the state of various parts of the Buddh International Circuit.

And although there were a number of teething problems, for the most part F1's first grand prix on the sub-continent passed without any major issues, to Ecclestone's delight.

"I'm very, very happy with it, and everybody else is as well. We've nothing to complain about it," said Ecclestone, who turned 81 on Friday.

"There are bits and pieces they (circuit owners the Jaypee Group) can do, but this is a prototype, so I'm sure they'll get down and have a good look at everything.

"They'll see there are things they could improve on, and I'm sure they will improve them."

Asked if he had been nervous about heading to India, Ecclestone admitted: "A little bit.

"I thought it wasn't going to get completed. But I kept seeing photographs every day, and it was improving.

"In the end we had a super crowd. If you had mentioned Formula One to these people (the fans) three years ago they would not have known what you were talking about.

"But it was a great crowd, a great atmosphere. Normally you get people complaining when there is something wrong, but I haven't heard any complaints about anything."

One gripe doing the rounds, though, was that the track lacked any cultural reference given India's history and heritage, and that it could have been in any country.

Ecclestone is confident such issues will be resolved for next year, although he could not resist a typical quip beforehand.

"I was hoping we would have put a couple of elephants on the grid or something," joked Ecclestone.

He then added: "The Jaypee Group know what they are doing. We're in touch with them and that's why it is the way it is now.

"We sat on them. We've had people here for a long time."

Doubts regarding the latest new venue for next season, the track in Austin, Texas, have for now been allayed by Ecclestone.

The suggestion is the people behind the Circuit of the Americas are running into difficulties on several levels, including financially.

But Ecclestone said: "I don't think they're struggling. I just think there has been a bit of a disagreement inside the company."

Asked if it was "100 per ent going to happen", Ecclestone replied: "Well, if you'd said to me a month ago: 'Is India 100 per cent going to happen,' I would have said: 'I don't know.'

"So ask me again a month before the race is due to be on."

Ecclestone, however, admitted it would not be a blow for F1 if the race failed to take place next season, with it currently scheduled for November.

He added: "We can have it next year or the year after. It's not the end of the world."



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