Ecclestone not in New York for F1 race talks image

( Bernie Ecclestone has not travelled to New York this week to discuss a possible formula one race on Staten Island, it has emerged.

Explaining that the F1 chief executive had broken his earlier plans to attend the Melbourne season opener, race boss Ron Walker said Ecclestone had instead accepted the invitation of New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.

But a New York City Hall official told the Herald Sun that there is “Nothing planned” between the 80-year-old and Bloomberg.

And when asked about the plans for a Staten Island grand prix, a spokesman for Bloomberg answered: “We don’t have such a plan.”

Indeed, Ecclestone has been giving interviews in the last 24 hours from his London office.

Australian Grand Prix Corporation chairman Ron Walker admitted he was confused: “Everybody tells me he is meeting with (New York) city officials but I have no idea what’s in his diary at all.

“It’s none of my business,” he insisted.

Revealingly, Walker said he was not disappointed Ecclestone had broken his plans to fly to Australia.

“He’s a task master you see. If you were to ask him the future of the race, he could just say ‘none’. So these are reasons why I don’t want him here.”

Ecclestone confirmed to Reuters the news about him skipping Australia, and when asked if Staten Island is a candidate for a future race, he answered: “No, absolutely 100 per cent.”