Austria set to lose grand prix date

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has told one of Austria's biggest newspapers that the country will lose its place on the grand prix calendar next year due to its government bringing forward a ban on tobacco advertising

Austria set to lose grand prix date

The A1-Ring at Spielberg holds a contract to host a Formula 1 event until 2006, but Ecclestone told Kronen Zeitung: "We'll be racing for the last time in Spielberg on May 18 this year - then it's over. Of course, we had a contract with Spielberg until 2006, but with an exit clause that's now come into effect. Your [Austria's] health minister is the one to blame because he agreed to bringing forward the ban on tobacco advertising."

Ecclestone gave his comments while in Kitzbuhel for the World Cup skiing races at the weekend.

"In 2004 we're racing in Shanghai and Bahrain, 2005 in Istanbul, then in Russia," he said. "It's possible that we then only have five or six races in central Europe."

When asked whether Austria would be one of those venues, Ecclestone replied: "The decision is final."

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Austria to Lose GP after 2003, Says Ecclestone

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