Wednesday, 12 December 2012 11:58
2013 calendar could drop to 19 races - Bernie Ecclestone has told an Austrian newspaper it is likely Formula 1's calendar will drop from 20 to 19 races next year.
It has been rumoured the Formula 1 Chief Executive was being urged by Red Bull, the owners of the former A1-Ring, to revive the Austrian Grand Prix.
Formula 1 Chief Executive Ecclestone has already reserved a twentieth race date on the 2013 calendar, in the wake of New Jersey's demise.
But when asked about the Red Bull Ring being a serious candidate, the 82 year old told Kleine Zeitung: "Oh, really? Who says that?
"I haven't spoken to anyone about it."
When pressed, Ecclestone insisted: "Right now I'm thinking about Istanbul.
"But I rather think that next year we will have only 19 Grands Prix. That would be no problem."
Asked why Austria is not a likely candidate for the twentieth race, he answered: "Well, the hotel situation is still just a disaster.
"It was always a problem. I think it's not suitable for today's Formula One."
Ecclestone said he will make a decision "I think by early next week".
Another rumour is that former San Marino Grand Prix host Imola could be an option.
But the Italian town's major Daniele Manca is quoted by Tuttosport: "It's impossible for something like that to be in motion without the track telling me."