F1 IN AFRICA: F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone wants to see a Formula 1 race in an African country and has started talks to get the ball rolling. Image: AFP / Bars Larson
Berlin, Germany - Formula 1 magnate Bernie Ecclestone says he wants to see the sport debut in Africa and has put pressure on the German Grand Prix after it was cancelled during the 2015 season.
In an interview with Hamburg-based newspaper Handelsblatt, Ecclestone says he has had conversations about taking F1 to Africa and is also toying with holding a second GP in America with Austin, Texas, hosting the US GP on October 23.
In the pipeline?
The 85-year-old said: "I would like to see a race in Africa, where we so far have never raced.
"The first conversations have already taken place and perhaps one more race in the US, let's see."
After a one-year absence, F1 racing will return to Germany again this northern summer when Hockenheim hosts a GP on July 31, but Ecclestone says the Germans have ground to make up.
2015's race at Nurburgring, which is scheduled to host again in 2017, was cancelled due to contractual problems and Ecclestone says Hockenheim, which could not host the 2015 race at short notice, has much to live up to.
'Behind the times'
"We wanted Hockenheim to wake up a little last year," said Ecclestone, who says the circuit has a contract for 2016 and 2018 which is "not an especially good one".
"They are still living 20 years behind the times when I compare it to other events."
The new season starts in Australia on March 20 with Ecclestone breaking new ground by holding a Grand Prix in Baku, Azerbaijan, for the first time on June 20.