Staten Island plays down F1 race rumours image

( Officials in the New York borough Staten Island have played down claims the location could be the scene of a formula one race.

It emerged this week that Bernie Ecclestone called off his scheduled visit to Melbourne for the 2011 season opener in order to meet in New York with mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“We’ve heard nothing about the proposal,” a spokesman for Staten Island councilman Vincent Ignizio told the Austin American-Statesman.

Chief of staff Joe Borelli added: “Our road transportation is lacking. We have choking points. There are four ways to get in and out of Staten Island and the bridges are not that big.”

Seven years ago, NASCAR track management International Speedway Corporation bought land on Staten Island but it is now trying to sell it.

“We did oppose NASCAR. The majority of people were against it,” confirmed Borelli.

He said the reason for opposing motor racing is that Staten Island, as one of the five boroughs of New York City, would not collect the money generated by the races.

“It might be different if we were a city,” said Borelli.

A spokesman for another island councilman James Oddo added: “In this economic climate I can only see them (race promoters) having more issues.”