Japan crisis to also affect F1 – Ecclestone image

(Inautonews.com/GMM) Attendance at the Japanese grand prix later this year will surely be affected by the country’s earthquake and nuclear crisis.

That is the view of F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, as according to a report in the Daily Mail he is already counting the costs of new losses in the sport’s crucial corporate hospitality area.

The 2010 accounts show a $5.2 million loss, as sponsors cut spending on hospitality, causing ticket prices to rise.

Another headache for F1 is the looming race at Suzuka, even though the highly popular circuit was not actually damaged in the recent earthquake and tsunami.

“The problem is not going to be any damage to the circuit, it is how much damage is done commercially with people buying tickets,” said Ecclestone.

The 80-year-old revealed that F1 assisted Japan some years ago when an earthquake struck.

“We had trouble with an earthquake before and tried to help them,” said Ecclestone.