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F1: The new races in Bernie Ecclestone's mind

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Khatir Soltani
From GMM

Bulgaria demonstrated it is serious about joining the F1 calendar by sending a senior government minister to the Italian grand prix. Ecclestone "voiced interest in that idea and committed to visit Bulgaria in the coming week to familiarise himself with details of the project", said the report.

A scandal erupted recently after reports said an Abu Dhabi company was going to fund a formula one track for the southeast European country. The Abu Dhabi interests reacted angrily, declaring the announcement incorrect and inaccurate and vowing to cancel all its Bulgarian investments.

But according to the Sofia news agency Novinite, Bulgarian economy minister Traicho Traikov was trackside on Saturday. He reportedly met with F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, about Bulgaria hosting a future round of the world championship.

Rome grand prix officials have announced that a five-year contract for a formula one street race in the Italian capital was signed at Monza on Friday.

Ahead of Italy's existing race near Milan, they said that Rome would also feature on the calendar in 2012 or 2013, after the agreement was signed, guaranteeing at least five street races if an agreement can be found with the authorities of the Italian capital's EUR district, by Bernie Ecclestone and organiser Maurizio Flammini on Friday.

A director of the Monza circuit has reacted angrily to the news. "Where once it was difficult to find sponsors, now it will be impossible," Monza director Enrico Ferrari is quoted by La Stampa newspaper.

"The big companies have a budget, so if today they were giving us 100, tomorrow they will give us 50 and Rome 50," he said. "Take the example of Spain: Barcelona has been in crisis because of Valencia. The old Catalan race lost 9 million euros in 2010. All of Europe is in distress with F1.”

Khatir Soltani
Khatir Soltani
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