Walker: Ecclestone offended by Mayor's comments

11 February 2011 

The chairman of the Australian Grand Prix, Ron Walker, believes Bernie Ecclestone was 'offended' after comments made by Lord Mayor Doyle questioned the city's race.

He also believes that Ecclestone will drop the race when its contract expires in 2014 without thinking twice.

"He will make up his mind in 2014...there's no shortage of people who want a race," he told the Herald Sun.

"He was quite offended by those remarks and even though he has very good friends here, and is very proud of Melbourne attendances, he has many other options," admitted Walker.

"I think he feels let down that a mayor of a capital city for the first time in 40 odd years would question the value of an F1 race.

"A race that is equal in value to a World Cup or Olympic Games."

Ecclestone himself even suggested that the growing calendar didn't need the Australian GP.

"Twenty races is enough," he told the German media. "If we have some new races, some others will fall - we don't need Australia, for instance."

Despite this, the 80-year-old will be present at this years event after he, his wife Fabiana and two daughters Tamara and Petra chose to attend.