Jan.25 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Portugal has emerged as a candidate to stage the vacant twentieth race date on the 2013 calendar, and France is also in the running.

That’s what Bernie Ecclestone said in an interview with Austria’s Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper.

Asked about the mid-season and so far unnamed 20th race set aside for a European venue, and also the uncertainty surrounding the venue for the German grand prix, the F1 chief executive admitted: “Frankly, I don’t know.

“For the free date, there is interest from France and now also Portugal with the new Algarve track,” he said.

“For the German grand prix, it’s still open,” he said, amid reports either the Nurburgring or Hockenheim could end up hosting the early July event.

Asked if Austria’s Red Bull Ring has a chance, Ecclestone answered: “I am glad to be here (holidaying in Austria). But we have too many races in Europe.”

Turning his attention to F1’s 2013 season, the 82-year-old insisted there is “no reason” why Vettel cannot continue to chase Michael Schumacher’s record by winning a fourth consecutive title this year.

He added: “I expect much more from Mercedes with Lewis (Hamilton) involved, and if they are good then also Nico (Rosberg) has a chance.

“You can’t forget Jenson (Button), although I doubt McLaren will be right at the front. It will be an exciting year.”

  • Rita

    Surely there must be 20th race in 2013, because other events and festivals have already changed their dates just to make sure nothing stands in the way of F1 race in July. It would be crazy to do all of this and then see no F1 race in July. That would tarnish reputation of F1 and Bernie.