F1: Ecclestone wants Melbourne race for '50 years'
SYDNEY (AFP) - Formula One ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone said on Tuesday he would happily sign a contract for Melbourne to host the Grand Prix for 50 years, declaring "everybody loves Australia".
The sport has a contract with Melbourne until 2015 but beyond that it is up in the air, and other cities have expressed interest in snapping up the event, which Ecclestone has previously said is the "least viable" on the F1 calendar.
Ecclestone said he hoped to travel to Melbourne for the season-opening 2013 race on March 17, in a year in which negotiations on a new contract are set to begin.
"Everybody loves Australia, loves Australian people and it's good to be there because it's the first race, it's nice, it's relaxed," he said in an official Australian Grand Prix podcast.