Ecclestone sure all teams will race in Austin

Sat Nov 1, 2014 6:01pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) - Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone dismissed the threat of a U.S. Grand Prix boycott on Saturday after cash-strapped smaller teams suggested they could take drastic action to push their demands for more money.

"Forget all that crap. I promise you they will be racing (tomorrow)," the 84-year-old told reporters after qualifying at the Circuit of the Americas. "They will be racing, I give you an absolute guarantee.

"I'm worried if they are going to be racing next year," added the Briton.

Force India deputy principal Bob Fernley had told Reuters earlier that all options were open for teams fighting for survival in a paddock that has already seen Marussia and Caterham disappear since the previous race in Russia.

"Nothing is off the table at this point," Fernley said. "Everything and anything is possible. The team owners need themselves to sit down and decide what actions they want to take and then make sure everybody is informed properly."

Force India, Sauber and Lotus have all had financial troubles and their bosses have all urged the bigger teams to create a more level playing field by ensuring that all have the means to compete.

Caterham and Marussia collapsed into administration last month with considerable debts.

That has left nine teams in Austin with the risk of more falling by the wayside and revived debate about how a sport that makes more than $1.5 billion in annual revenues cannot ensure 11 teams have enough to stay afloat.   Continued...

Formula One commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone arrives for the drivers' parade before the first Russian Grand Prix in Sochi October 12, 2014. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh