Formula One boss eyes New York for grand prix

March 25, 2010

Formula One cars could be racing with a backdrop of the Manhattan skyline if Bernie Ecclestone gets his way.

The F1 boss wants to help set up a New York Grand Prix in 2012.

"(It would be) in front of Manhattan in New Jersey, with the skyscrapers in the background," Ecclestone said in Thursday's Gazzetta dello Sport. "Fifteen minutes from the center of New York to the circuit would be marvelous."

Ecclestone appears to be interested in widening F1's footprint and appeal in the United States. On March 15, Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials confirmed that they were in discussions with the series to return to the Brickyard. Ecclestone had told an English publication that "we'd like to get back there," referring to Indianapolis, possibly as soon as 2011.

There hasn't been a grand prix in the United States since 2007, when Lewis Hamilton won in Indianapolis to signal the end to eight years at the circuit.

Before that, Phoenix hosted three grand prix from 1989 to 1991, while Watkins Glen in upstate New York hosted the F1 from 1961 to 1980.

Ecclestone also left the door open for former Renault owner Flavio Briatore to return to the series. The Italian was banned for life after an attempt at race-fixing at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. He overturned the ban in a French court, but Formula One's governing body is appealing the decision.

Briatore recently ruled out a return to the series.

"Why not?" Ecclestone said. "It depends on what he wants to do, but I think he could have a role promoting Formula One."

The 79-year-old Ecclestone also said he has no intention of leaving Formula One any time soon.

"I am happy to continue. I'm well and I'm enjoying myself," he said. "When I'm not, then I will stop. At the moment we are going through some difficulties and when things are going badly you should lead from the front to try and improve them."


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