Ecclestone backs Melbourne’s secret F1 fee

May 18 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone has joined the local state government in Australia in refusing to divulge the cost of the annual formula one race.

The race fee paid by Melbourne organisers to the Ecclestone-led Formula One Management is picked up entirely by taxpayers, but Victorian sports minister John Eren argues the actual amount must remain secret.

“We’re not in the business of giving rival cities around the world that want our flagship event a competitive advantage,” he told the local Herald Sun newspaper.

The report speculates the fee could be as high as US $38 million, but Ecclestone backed the government in keeping it a secret.

“I don’t think there is any need to (inform taxpayers),” the 85-year-old said.

“Why do we need to? It’s all a private thing,” Ecclestone added.

Told that the taxpayers may object to the amount if it became public knowledge, he insisted: “I don’t see it is anybody’s business except the people that are party to the agreement.”

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