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Last Updated: Monday, 10 March 2008, 07:40 GMT
Formula One boss reveals the future
The man in charge of Formula One, Bernie Ecclestone, says Silverstone is in danger of losing the British Grand Prix if it does not upgrade its facilities. In an interview with Newsbeat ahead of the start of the Formula One season the F1 supremo said it would be unfair to ask other tracks to provide top class circuits when Silverstone was so far behind.

Bernie Ecclestone

We're up to 18 races this year in Formula One. Are there any plans to expand it any further beyond that?

We're going to get another race in India and probably one in Russia. So, we'll probably drop something and put another couple in.

Would you ever drop Silverstone?

No. Silverstone would drop itself.

For people who don't follow Formula One that closely, can you explain why Silverstone might be in danger of losing the British Grand Prix?

They've known for five years what they have to do to maintain it - to bring themselves up to speed with everybody else. We can't go round the world making people put grade A circuits together and we've got the home of motorsport in England and we've got the worst facilities. I'm sure they'll make the effort to get it together in the end.

What was your take on the spying saga last season between McLaren and Ferrari? Did it damage the image of F1 or was it a case of 'all publicity is good publicity'?

You know what they say. There's no such thing as bad publicity. Maybe it would have been better if it hadn't happened. It was something really for McLaren. It wasn't anything to do with Ferrari.

The big story on the track was Lewis Hamilton. Did you think he could be that good in his debut season?

I don't think he did. I don't think anybody did. It was just quite outstanding. It couldn't happen - but it did.

How important is Lewis Hamilton to the sport as a competitor and as a role model?

He's good in every way. He's first class. He's obviously super-competitive. He behaves very, very well. He would be a creditable world champion. He's good, good, good. No complaints with him.

Do you see the drivers' championship being between Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso this season?

There might be one or two other people in there - like the BMW people. We'll have to wait and see. Let's get these first three races out of the way and we'll have more of an idea what's going to happen.

Most people will be predicting another McLaren/Ferrari straight shoot out for the constructors' championship. Some of the other teams seem to be making up the numbers. Would you prefer it if those two didn't dominate so much?

I don't follow golf that much but I'd prefer it to not always be Tiger Woods winning. These things happen. It's strange but people do dominate.

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