Staten Island to get f1 race?

UPDATE This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today. 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."

03/23/11 (GMM) 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."

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